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Toyota 45, Nhtsa 29, Us 27, U.s. 11, Dr. Martinez 8, Nasa 7, California 7, Los Angeles 6, Dora Rivas 6, America 5, Usda 5, Michelle Obama 5, Europe 4, Miller 4, Iraq 3, New York 3, Carolyn Morrison 3, Birth 3, Mr. Scott 3, Oregon 3,
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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News/Business.  

    April 7, 2010
    1:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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and engineers also involves. i can give you the number of folks we have on deck. we have 125 engineers. we have five electrical engineers. we have a software engineer. we have engineers in@@@@u)@ @ @ there is not a notion that we are -- that we do not have the proper expertise to handle today's automobile. i do not think that is the case at all. recognizing that you can -- the president has provided us the resources to hire new people which we will use to leverage our resources and to strengthen those folks. in addition, we will be looking at how we can do longitudinal studies on the systems that the secretary spoke about any prior
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system. can we handle the current marketplace with our expertise? yes, we can. of course we can. >> we are talking about federal oversight of car safety. we want to hear from you in a minute. first, let me introduce to of our guests, and dr. jeffrey runge, the former administrator of nhtsa up. he served from 2001 to 2005. from atlanta, dr. ricardo martinez, former head of nhtsa from 1994 to 1999. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> dr. jeffrey runge, could i get your reaction to the fine that nhtsa is seeking against toyota -- $16.40 million? >> if the evidence points to the fact that toyota was withholding information from regulators and the public it is appropriate. that fine level is relatively new. it is a new authority from the
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tread act that was passed in response to the ford at firestone issue -- the ford firestone issue. before that, the fine was down in the hundreds of thousands. we were the first ones to cross that million dollar barrel. ford was slow to report a windshield wiper defect that was a safety threat. going to $16 million, to the full extent of the law, sends a message to the industry that they are serious. >> i read one critics saying that "toyota embarrassed the agency and that is where this is coming from." what do you think? >> the agency's mission oriented. it does not have all of the tools it might need. it is usually outgunned by the global industry.
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this was critic for a national industry. we transitioned to a global industry. it is trying to maintain the rules. what you do is you find people who have gone over the rules and you hold them accountable. $16 million is not a lot for a company making $200 million. but it is the largest amount allowed by law, a strong message. >> are you saying that nhtsa cannot live up to its responsibilities? that it is not adequately funded and does not have enough resources in today's global economy? >> i think the fact that they are asking for 66 new positions is a reflection of the fact that authority has grown dramatically. we have also seen this with the fda and other agencies. we have gone from a national market to a global market. you need the additional resources. the car has gone from a mechanical vehicle to an electronic vehicle. that requires, as you can see in this case, more expertise in
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software, electrical systems, and that sort of thing. you need to make sure there is communications expertise because of connectivity issues coming down the road. in some ways, the agency is playing catch-up. the testimony -- it really has some of the world's experts. what is different about the agency versus any other agency in the world in auto safety is that the researchers and policy makers are together. the question is whether they have the resources they need in today's world. >> why me ask you about responsibility. before we went on air, you said that some people have said the nhtsa did not live up to its responsibilities when it comes to the case of toyota. what do you say? >> i take a little offense, even though i am not there anymore. i know these people. i know how they work. as ricardo martinez said, the work with the resources given to them by congress and the administration.
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their job in the vehicle safety area is to promulgate rules under the federal motor vehicle safety act and to look for defective vehicles -- systemically defective vehicles. the definition is an unreasonable risk of harm. the law does not say that this has to be a risk-free environment. it says that nhtsa's job is to go out and find a defect which is an unreasonable risk of harm. that is not always easy to do. in this case, they have transition from a mechanical into an electronic vehicle. the agency was under resource to for that skill set. >> we're talking about federal oversight of auto safety with two former heads of the agency that heads up auto safety. we want to hear from you tonight. we have divided the lines along territories -- a long time
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zones. the numbers are at the bottom of your screen. you can send us twitter messages. go to twitter.com -- #cspan. what is the message that net set -- that nhtsa is trying to send? >> for people to understand about the mission -- in many ways, it is a public health agency. the leading cause of death under age 34 in this country is an auto crash. it is the leading cause of death on the job, spine injuries, head injuries, 94% of the injuries. you get a chance to see the scope of this problem verses the resources you have. one reason the other departments are bigger is they are running organizations like the faa and
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railroads. it is something we need to look at in terms of -- the safety organizations are an investment. when it comes to giving money and resources, we look at them as regulatory agencies. that is not always the case. speed limits, child seat laws -- these respect all the people out there. even though it is a small amount of money, having the largest fine ever levied can send a message not just to toyota but around the world about how we are going to enforce our system. the american system versus the european system -- we rely on you to tell us the truth. in other countries to do tight specifications. you bring me a vehicle. we crash it and approve that type of vehicle. you may treat it a little bit. here, you self certify. i have the right as the administrator to take any car off your line at any time. if it does not meet standards, i
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can shut down your factory. in a capitalist marketplace that is a powerful tool. the recall apparatus is powerful to. they're saying they believe toyota did not tell the truth. you have to have that integrity for the system to work. >> a phone call from new york -- barbara. you are up. >> that you for taking my call. i have two questions. it seems there were sudden acceleration charges made against bmw a few years ago. i do not remember them being treated the same way toyota is being treated. my second question is -- as i understand it, it has not unproven that there is anything wrong with the cars yet. with nasa and the national academy of sciences -- if they do not find anything, will there be an apology made? will the fine be refunded? thank you for taking my call. >> that is a great and complex
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question. i will try to dissected into its parts. i will take the last one first. it is not just a toyota issue, with respect to the complaints about sudden unintended acceleration. it goes back to the '80s. everybody remembers the old audis and the mechanisms of acceleration were different then. they got outside experts sort of like that are doing now. the developed something called the silver book. it is a comprehensive look of what was going on in those situations. there were never able to find a defect with the vehicle. they did find that many of these were caused by driver error. i think there was a sort of systematic feeling at nhtsa that most of these things were driver error until proven otherwise. with respect to the question about toyota and bmw -- up until
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recently, another manufacturer was in the lead in complaints about sudden unintended acceleration. the agency has been looking at all manufacturers relative to these complaints. the problem that they have with toyota -- one of the problems -- is that this problem has existed for a long time. other countries have had recalls of disinformation. information was not shared by toyota to the agency. i think they regard that with some umbrage. with respect to whether or not there is a problem -- that is a difficult one to parse out. that is why nasa has been called in -- why they will continue to look at other experts in the electronics field and try to figure out what is going on. i am relatively certain it will result in some design changes and some software issues and hardware issues, but we do not know what those are yet.
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>> what do you mean by design changes? >> this has been a traumatic thing for this car maker. the other car makers are looking closely at what is going on. the mere fact that this is causing such a tumultuous reaction around the world will cause them to improve the systems in whatever way they can. i have no knowledge about how they are going to do that. it may be proprietary. i'm sure there will be improvement as a result. >> first off, they are not going to apologize to toyota. the fine is for not giving us the information. the system relies on a certain amount of trust and integrity. that is nothing to do with intended acceleration. the second thing is that we have really seen this car become an electrical vehicle. i think you're going to see more people begin to look at how the systems integrator. you will have more focus. will probably see improvements made because of that.
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we can win if everyone focuses on doing the right thing. we brought in nasa back when the air bag issue occurred. remember? the air bags were too powerful in how the exploded. it was not well controlled. in those days, the propellant for airbags was rocket fuel. you literally had to be a rocket scientist to help us figure it out. in those days, the nasa administrator was dan golden, who worked on air bags in a former life. it worked out well. we learned a lot. the agency is doing the right thing to bring all hands on deck to understand the solution. the caller is correct. no one is sure what it is. we may learn something from this. >> it is not unprecedented that nasa and other agencies would be called in? >> we have done it in the past. it is a good idea for nhtsa to say there are skills and expertise that may go beyond
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what we have currently experienced. we think it is important enough for our mission to go to the table and help. >> thank you for taking my call. i have a 2005 honda element that lost its steering. i have found there is a breakdown between honda manufacturing and customers. on the manufacturing does not have any record of the things i have taken back in. i have questions. is there a breakdown in communications between at the manufacturing company? how do i get anyone to listen to me. i need some help with this car. >> i am not familiar with the latest. one thing you can do is file a complaint on nhtsa, on line. you can also call their 800 number. that is where a lot of the complaints come from.
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about 30% of the investigations come from the investigators going through and looking for trends. i would ask you to go on the web -- www. nhtsa.gov. i find the agency is interested in what is coming from the field. >> i would echo that. part of the problem, as an individual, when you are making a complaint, is that you are one of thousands of people making complaints. they may be different complaints. the agency takes the seriously. i think it is higher than 30%. i think most investigations are opened as a result of complaints that are issued. >> i thought it was. >> the caller should absolutely go to the website or call the 800 number and log the complaint. part of the problem is that many of the complaints that come in our vehicles that did not
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perform. they are lemons. there is no systematic defect. it is not an unreasonable risk. the cannot do anything about that. that. it is not >> can you walk our viewers through what happens when you make a complaint on their end? what did they do with that information? >> having actually filed a complaint myself, i did not get a response. having been on the other side -- >> when did you file a complaint? >> i had a problem. i had a sudden unintended acceleration problem with a non toyota vehicle. a german manufacturer. i am not sure that it was my fault. i turned the cruise control lever to the off position. it has not happened in months and months bit i thought it was a good idea to tell the agency
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about it just gave -- just as a matter of logging in in so they have the data. >> what happens then? you make your complaints. what happens from the agency cited it? >> there are a couple of ways it is dealt with. there is a group of investigators that bring these complaints in. there was a database set up in 2003. it is an early warning database. it gets all the field reports, warranty claims, customer complaints, log into a large database. there are statisticians that look for trends. if it is a random complained that does not fit a trend you may not get a call. if they are seeing a trend -- maybe 10 complaints or maybe 30 -- they will start to call people and find out if there are similarities. they may ask for their vehicles. they may ask for their history.
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they do look into those things. >> a senator who has been a critic of toyota and nhtsa put out a statement saying that this should be a warning that nhtsa spends more time -- more time given to consumer complaints verses industry defense of those complaints. is that what happens? >> i never had anybody who felt they were trying to side with industry. they are mission oriented. it is good to go to work and think "i have saved some lives." you have organized groups of people who have cases. they will go and do press conferences. all of a sudden you get a surge of complaints from that local area. they go to the database and say there is a surge in complaints. the thing we have to be able to do is maintain some scientific purity. you have to be a credible,
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honest broker. you are always looking for the facts and the data. sometimes, if people have a concern or believe in something to be true, they get very unhappy when we do not agree with it. frankly, the facts are not there yet. given the resources, we have to look at the biggest bang for the buck in protecting the public. investigators are like sherlock holmes. i have seen them kicking tires and asking people in the garage because they have heard something they think may be plausible. when they see a lot of complaints they do not suddenly run out and recall. they do it preliminary investigation. there is enough data for us to allocate resources and do a preliminary investigation. the contact car companies for more information. when there is enough concern, they raise it to an engineering analysis. they are clever in how they can replicate some of the things that occur. with toyota, the fact that we are seeing the same sort of
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issues from other cars from other manufacturers makes you think it could be it is not a floor mat. it could be that there is something in the software or electromagnetic, as nasa is looking at. . . that is where you find where if you disregard something because it is not fitting the facts, you can be labeled that you are ignoring the industry. that is not what i have seen to be the case. we're taking your phone calls this evening about federal
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oversight on auto safety. we want to take your twitter message is great if you want to send us a tweet, -- >> i have two quick questions to ask. the first one is, how did this toyota fiasco affect the asian market? did it affect it like affected the u.s. market? could some of this be because of sub-par parts coming from the asian markets? japanese metal is not like american steel. >> i do not have the answer of how this has affected the market out of the united states. i would imagine that what is happening is a reflection of
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what is happening around the world. maybe not with the degree of enthusiasm, but if it is a systemic problem, it will affect global sales. this is not a problem of replacement parts. with the question about parts, the vehicles are assembled from the parts of a lot of different suppliers. the oem's, the original equipment manufacturers look for suppliers that will give them the best deal. the ones that are the most compatible with the existing systems. a car really is an amalgamation of many different manufacturers, not just a single manufacturer. i am sure the manufacturers are looking closely at their suppliers for the source of this.
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>> help me with your name. >> i am from michigan. i appreciate c-span, and i appreciate the candor of dr. martinez. my question has to do with the overreliance on centers anymore electronic components. what about the effectiveness of some of these components, and that drivers can manually override many of these problems when they occur. are you looking into those sources were the driver has some kind of fail-safe ability to control the car when electronics kind of go haywire? >> that is one of the things that has been raised dairy high on the radar screen. this is not like a computer or you could press ctrl, alt, delete, you have to provide integrity in safety for the drivers, passengers, and the
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people around them. again, that is a good thing. the move about centers and putting them in has made a big difference. people always ask, what is the safest car? it used to be the one that hits you best. it is about the car being nibbled to adapt. -- being able to adapt. going forward, we're going to avoid the crash altogether, which is the biggest bang for the buck. historically, car companies have been built on mechanical engineering. the airbag sensor was a tube with a ball bearing in it. if that ball bearing rolled to the end of the tube, it closed a switch and was very unsophisticated. it concerns people, size, and have the air bag go off at different levels.
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how you integrate all of that together and prevent any sort of adverse effect? the original manufacturer is working hard on that now. you get all of the performance in the but you preserve the bad outcome and it is able to perform in all kinds of situations. th>> the electronic systems has saved thousands of lives. the control systems were being deployed -- we reduced crashes by 65% by introducing systems that keep vehicles on the road.
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when you leave the road, they are a form of injury. if you need to slam on the brakes and stop, the card text the rate and depth -- and the car detects the rat rate -- the rate and epth. -- and depth. it is a great question that the caller asks, and it is a philosophical question. are you smarter, faster, and more capable than centers and computers that will do that even if you can't? >> can you hear me? >> ago ahead. >> your colleague has known me
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for 27 years. you know stephen, don't you? >> yes. >> he can verify to you that i am a very credible person. i happen to know the answer to the whole question. it is something that very few people in the world know. and i will give it to you, it will take about one minute. i would like to call you tomorrow and give you more. it will take maybe half an hour to explain the whole thing. i will give you the summary. >> is this related to auto safety? >> it is related to the toyota thing. i am asking you not to judge it or market. >> behalf to hurry up, harry. go, please. >> i will give you the truth. listen, you remember that the
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toyota castle burned down in 1995? in 1992, d remember that? >> get your point, we have here from all different places. >> it will take 60 seconds, and if you cut me off, you will be doing a disservice to journalism. the castle burned down in 1992. the party put a nuclear weapon under osaka, japan in 1995 that killed 6000 people. that is why toyota is deliberately doing this. the government is deliberately doing this. >> think you very much for your call. >> i own two german cars, a ford pickup, and i have had problems with several of those, too.
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i am concerned -- it is my understanding that one of the problems that we had, the woman that was on one of the congressional inquiries into up where the black box indicated she pressed on the accelerator and not a break. one of the other ones that i understand as far as the sticky accelerator, there is a manufacturer in michigan that is developing or producing some of these things for the area. -- for toyota. many of the manufacturers get their parts from all over the place. i real concern here is, why doesn't the news media broadcasts all of the information concerning -- or even the safety board, broadcast all of the information as it
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relates to some of these situations? if you look on the internet, you can see where recalls have been for air bags, for all kinds of things. it almost seems to me like there may be a little bit of a political environment against toyota. toyota. i don't >> it is sort of hard to understand all of the motivation that have gone on with this entire thing. i think that the severity of the issue is really what drove the agency to take a more pro-active role. secretary lahood has been very forceful in his role. i have to hand it to him. the agency has had very good leadership. administrator strickland is -- he knows what he's doing here. i do not believe that there are going to be -- they are going to be driven by the political wind.
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congress provides oversight to the executive branch. every congressman records -- represents a district. a district has constituents in it that have very special interest. jobs and other things. when we look at the rhetoric that is surrounding this issue and a lot of it is unscientific and is driven by something other than the evidence, i would agree. you have to take that into account. i do not believe that the agency will get distracted too much by that. i do not think the secretary or the administrator will be distracted too much by that. i am really sure that the investigators are not going to be distracted by that. the media, however, does follow the story. the story is written by people other than those who actually are cast the solving the problem. -- are cast with solving the problem. >> in this case, there is a lot
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of human face on it. it gets on the front page. another issue comes up. but it goes back to the role of nets that is to try to make sure they look beyond that -- nhtsa and make sure they look beyond that. i petitioned the agency to really put in black boxes. ward. we're emergency physicians, we see patients. if you practice the way we investigate, people would slap us with malpractice. we don't want to guess, we want to know. instead of looking back for years and years, we look at it permission to speed up and facilitate our ability to investigate.
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there will kids get marks, things like that. cars actually have computers and side that can tell you what is happening and with the reels -- wheels. those sort of things mean we don't guess when we can know. we can see that moving forward. you see a lot of these investigations become a little more definite as opposed to us trying to discuss what happened. >> what is the agency need to do that type of investigation? the budget for 2011 was $867 million. is that adequate to do what your saying? -- what you are saying? >> allot of it gets passed to the states because they have very active programs, drunk driving programs, that kind of thing.
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what i have been concerned about has not arrived in nhtsa over time. they're probably a little bit behind. going back tenor 15 years ago, we ask for a lot of additional people. the idea was to balance the budget and there is such a thing as investment. we really need to focus on that. how do you look at the centers and how these things come together. there are attempts that have been pushed back a bit. as we pointed out, there were recalls and other countries.
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we did not hear about it in our market. we have just gone through it very difficult time in the industry with indeed have a global reach, and we need to be able to hold all the people accountable. >> one of our viewers ask how a person can listen to to federal oversight. go to c-span.org. if you're interested in watching them -- n.y., your next. >> i think having doctors as the head of nhtsa, it is unfortunate that that is not occurring now. the problem is, we have almost 100,000 people and 50 million
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serious injuries around the world. having medical doctors as the head is very important. [inaudible] i think that the problem here really is a matter of information. i know that dr. martinez really worked on passage of something in 2006 requiring -- is trying to get a mandate to have the information. the problem is, the toyota thing in some of these others, [inaudible] the auto industry has been secretive in getting the code out where people can get the information. >> dr. martinez? >> it is true. we first learned about the chip
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on board with general motors. a gentleman in the crash had almost pulled out the seat belt. we thought there was a defect. we calculated about $14,000, about 26 miles an hour, a fairly serious crash. but things should not fail. it turns out the crash was about 56 miles an hour. we paid $14,000 to be 200% wrong. they said they have to put this information in. anybody can download the information and look at what happened in the car crash. some companies have said this is proprietary information. was there the brake on? the speed, all of that.
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i am not sure the information even exist after the crash because there have been concerns about the integrity of the box. if you look at the emergency medical service providers, they say they can do a better job at determining whether someone is injured or not. the national academy of sciences, and just a few weeks ago put out some basic standards that should be there to protect privacy in protect the integrity information and the ability to retrieve it. we are on the verge of these things, but it is taken a while like the viewer said. what is the price we're paying? why guess when we can know? >> the caller mentioned you both have medical backgrounds. how did that shape your tenure? >> it was everything. what drove dr. martinez and i to this in the first place was this
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revolving door of trauma. this preventable condition -- in the mid '80s, injury prevention and control began to be looked at as a science. it took a long time for them to evolve away from these random acts of god, that these things follow patterns. this progress and injury control science, and dr. martinez pointed out to people that you think your federal bureaucrats, the your apply to public health practitioners. i spent some time at nhtsa just being the doctor in the house. once you get the safety agency's to understand that they're all about preventing the number one
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cause of death in america between the ages of 3 and 34 years of age. i happen to share the same bias. the leadership of an agency inculcates the staff to stay vote -- to save lives, not to address consumer problems with cars and things that break -- it changes the culture and it changes coming to work every day. >> may i make a point? we actually had the engineers and our staff, thus to trauma centers and spend an evening there. -- and our staff come with us to trauma centers in spend an evening there.
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i never really saw that. i saw trying to do good your neighbors and your friends, so i saw the most dedicated people i met with my time at nhtsa. he asked for an office with a window, so we painted a window on his cubicle. >> i am not sure either one of you can answer this tweet, but does toyota still use a mechanical cable to connect the gear shift to the transmission, or is the shifter 100% electronic? >> it is a good question. the electric vehicle can put it in the sport mode and can change, you did see a lot of move toward electronics which has a lot of opportunity because he could be much more precise, get feedback to it. it really saves fuel. >> i hate to branch into this,
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but the fuel economy is set by the government. everything they do, they have to take weight at of the vehicle. if you can substitute electronics, you can add other conveniences like safety features. it is not as simple as let's go back to the old mechanical stuff. we're going to be driving by wire for ever. we must figure out what the issues are. >> there are going to be new standards for vehicles. what impact will that have on nhtsa? >> when we were there, nhtsa the standards for utility vehicles. the automobile standard was set 27.5 mpg.
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here is another emerging safety issue that the agency has to try to get out in front of. we will certainly see smaller, stiffer cars that will deliver a bigger pulse of energy to people when they do crash, and the manufacturers have to figure out how to mitigate the crash portions in order to crash -- in order to pass the crash test. it may be material science will change, they may just to deal with what they've got. it will be an engineering challenge. >> there is a certain amount of gamesmanship in any regulation you put out. what adverse effect is that he started making big cars in smaller cars. there are some safety dynamics with that. the goal is to make sure you maintain safety and energy
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security. you can't really play that game. you have have parameters that you have to design. it doesn't already a just makes small cars compared to getting a big car, but to make sure that -- i was going to make one comment to you real quick. paillette is an interesting phenomenon right now. -- toyota is an interesting phenomenon right now. at my time and health care, we are looking at toyota to improve health care. what happened here? we're trying to do what toyota does. they have lost control of the culture. has it been a matter of grabbing the data and getting it to the right organization because they are somewhat distributed? or are the designs coming down
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the field. we really don't know yet, we may not know for the next two or three months, maybe more. >> alike to think c-span, and also dr. runge and dr. martinez. also dr. runge and dr. martinez. i served at i think it is significant that dr. martinez got the ball rolling back in 1998. we have had a decade of progress. just a few minutes ago, the doctor mentioned that there is not a consumer protection part of this. it if it's a decides to mandate it, the american public -- if not set decides to mandate it, the american public will know what is available. otherwise, there will be consumer backlash. i would like to ask dr. martino what he thinks about the
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initiative so far. how could it help the agency in the future? >> one of the things was trying to make sure that there are protections in there. when you say black box, people get the wrong opinion. they think is tracking or you go. it really only gets a vehicle information. it is not say what the roads are like or whether you are drinking. it basically gets vehicle information. it will be a big help there. with some of the protections that have been put in, it will allay some of those fears. when you talk to people and you say, the data is yours. there are only three ways to get it. you give it to somebody, you give it to your insurance company when you put a claim in, or it turns out that there is a legal discovery process -- process and they take your car anyway.
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there is a legal proceeding or your car is impounded. if i heard someone with my car, it is impounded. that information becomes -- we can go forward with the proceedings. now we have better information. in some states, one at a five crashes are fraudulent and we all pay for that. it has codified some things that we were looking for. i think it will help the administration now. >> we will have to leave it there. we have run out of time. we want to thank you for being with us. thank you very much for your time. we appreciated as well. >> david represents the auto companies. to he is the president and cc of the ottawa alliance year in d.c. -- of -- president and cc
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of the automobile alliance here in d.c.. >> the system works. the agency determined that there was a violation and they took action against the company. it is not an issue of the level of the crime. it is the impact of the reputation and other externalities' that are involved that companies have to face. >> what do you think will be the impact on the image of toyota? >> toyota has tremendous image globally. they have real brand loyalty with consumers. it is going to be clear that they will go through a rough patch. i think they will support -- survive. they addressed the problem. the whole system of recall is part of the regulatory model. , because even
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though there has been an increase in the number of recalls. it is a way to remedy potential defects much sooner than otherwise would be the case. >> how do you think the other car companies are going to react? >> it is a process. there really develop a cooperative, working relationship. the underlying case, like what both a doctor runge and dr. martinez were talking about, they talked about saving lives. it is lower than it was in 1954. they really are making vehicles
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safer. that is a time when the number of drivers have actually doubled, so there is n nhtsa as a success story -- has a success story here. >> there's an expectation that this is an electronic issue, not necessarily a pedal defect as toyota has said. if it is an electronic issue, to electronic companies need to come forward with their software codes and tell the public the safety administration how the cars work? >> i was in the presence of the
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-- i was on the technology committee that oversaw an asset and the department of defense, so i would tell you the solid state technology is far more reliable than the mechanical systems with that in the past. if you look at the innovations that are occurring today, specially those the consumers have been, but also the regulators. we worked with the administration to -- you need electronics in order to accomplish that. the reliability requirements is 99.99 is not been met in the federal government or other
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industries. there is a redundancy there that is unmatched, are they able, with limited resources to really investigate these issues, and it is a challenge. the ticket from a laboratory, but they put it in vehicles if there is a potential defect, that is where the recall works. i and the reliability is there more than ever before. that is what is increasing safety and lifesaving technologies that are deployed today that we have to be careful that we don't develop our regulatory system that actually stifles that innovation and the deployment of that technology.
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>> david is here to give us the perspective of car companies. >> a good evening. i have a bit of a background in software engineering. i hear that they were hiring 66 people, it doesn't make me feel very comfortable. >> why is that? >> software is offshore. a lot of it is proprietary. we have millions of lines of code in a car right now, having 100 million lines of code is probably our reality. software engineers are able to assess the quality and architecture of the code, and most of that will be written in a foreign language. it is not going to be in english, and that is a false start.
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being sought for engineers is not the answer is the role is to try and assess the quality of the software that is being delivered the the car. it is probably the industry's role and responsibility to pull that out. they certainly won't have the tools or the expertise or the time to analyze code, 100 million lines of code, let's say. >> what is a solution in your mind? what should happen? >> the producers of the software de it korea, japan, china, must documents that in provide the open source code -- not the open source, but he saw for documentation in a language we can understand, and the test results. >> i was on the board of this offer institute, and i am not a
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software engineer, but i have a bit of respect for them. having just a few software engineers is not going to be able to understand the types of assistance and complexity of the auto itself, plus the range of auto manufacturers. their architecture designs that meet incredibly rigorous standards that ought companies use and actually lead in and they have worked with institutions to actually build the standards and requirements. there are literally thousands of engineers in the society of automotive engineers that are looking to develop standards for software and computers, and the system itself. an automobile has about 3000 different parts, and they all have to work together as a system. that is why it is very important
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that the automaker is not only do the design into the development, but they work with their suppliers to make sure that they're working effectively together. that is where this high standard of not only reliability -- actually more than any other industry. >> chris in boston, go ahead. >> i am an electrical engineer, and i really don't think you people really understand what is really going on. you are really being manipulated, you are being used. what they're trying to establish here is taking simple minded people like yourself in using new to establish a global governing system about auto industry standards. they're creating global government programs through agencies like this agency to oversee world government. by creating small departments
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that oversee these different issues and stuff like that about our safety on a global level, what they're doing is establishing a global governing system. what they're also doing is protecting the interest of the brand, and one of the callers was absolutely correct that there is an agenda behind a global government. >> well, it is a global industry. our industry manufactures and designs systems here in the united states as well as around the globe. it is one of the most competitive industries in the world. i don't think people understand how hyper competitive it is. there is a marketplace at work, and it is the most efficient of any other industry i am aware of. as far as standards globally, there are a lot of competing standards, and we have not reached the point where the un
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has established some sort of department that is working on this as part of the un, but they are really looking at standards that there is consensus on. they're following a the manufacturers. the doctor mentioned electronics instability control. it is really the reason that we save thousands of lives every year. that was voluntarily developed by the manufacturers, and government took it to get converted it to standard after the fact. that is okay. it is actually good. i don't agree with the caller that there is a global conspiracy here to try to dominate. regulators may get a heavy hand, but i don't know that part. >> is the odd alliance working
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with companies to come forward and get ahead of this situation that we have seen with toyota by volunteering to take safety precautions? are you working on something to with all the auto companies? >> we are represented the odd alliance and the trade association. it is about 70% of manufacturers. we continue to be incredibly proactive on a lot of the safety measures whether it is the current situation with sudden unintended acceleration. back in 2000, we had the tragic incident, the firestone case. there is a number of requirements of reporting, etc.. the industry complies with that, but we think there are ways to build on it. a lot of the questions are
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about the kinds of solutions that may be needed. the industry is releasing that or adopting a dozen coming forward. two of our manufacturers have announced break override technology that they are voluntarily deploying in their vehicles, trying to make sure that there is redundancy in safety, that there are fail-safe safety, that there are fail-safe method so we can >> our viewers may remember the headlines during the -- of the last couple of months. one headline that came out of the situation with tokyo it is that nhtsa employees have been hired by the car companies. is that appropriate? >> absolutely. you need experience on both sides of the aisle. those in the agency needs to understand what the technology is.
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both in regulation. most of the cooperation between the manufacturers and nhtsa is not adversarial. it is not that kind of relationship. it may have been in the past. there were times in the past where someone a to be the corporate cop. we see a much more constructive engagement trying to anticipate those challenges. we are currently working with that set on a program looking at research with regard to impaired driving. it is the single largest cause of fatality in this country. in fewer than 1% of all drivers are the ones that are responsible for those deaths. we're looking at the technology from across the globe. to see if that would apply to technology to prevent a drunk driver from engaging a vehicle and going out and doing harm. >> next phone call.
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>> good evening. i was an auto mechanic student in the '70s and became a mechanic in the 1980's. from 1987 until 2009, i built fire trucks. one of the problems that i have seen with the auto manufacturers is the fact that a lot of this new technology fails to get the proper testing that it needs. . . widespread electronic ignition. there is nothing with problems -- and nothing but problems with them until 78 or 79. then they went to widespread use of computer control. i can't tell you how many times card would -- cars would come back with the infamous check engine light. in this is you solve one problem, another one would pop up. it was not likely solved until the early 90s when they came out
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with the systems on board diagnostic. then they came out with the anti-lock brake systems, and there were a few problems when those started. they need more real-world testing on any of these systems before their release them to the public. >> testing? >> testing? est -- this industry does more testing in a crash test, reliability, extreme temperature, it is the most stringent of any industry today, even within the federal government. there is considerable testing. there are 240 million vehicles on the road. there are hopefully roughly 12 million that are sold in this coming year, and that technology means to be deployed
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as quickly as possible. . reliable, there is that small percentage of risk there. the want to have a perfect before you get it deployed? a perfect example, the institute has the fiftieth anniversary of crash tests. in 1959 chevy, there was a lot of metal, big engines, people thought they were safe. they crafted against a smaller chevy, a 2009 model, and i think we have a chart that shows those, when you look at the comparison, the 1959 model, you can see that the passenger compartment is actually crumbled. there is no air bag there that would protect the chest and upper torso. >> de 1995 yet -- the 1950
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vehicle was on top, and below that is the 2009 vehicle. >> that passenger compartment is safe, a 49 mile an hour head-on crash. the technology has changed dramatically, and each year, it improves. we have to make sure we don't stifle innovation in search of a risk free society or risk free industry because of potential litigation or a small percentage of problems. i think that is the virtuous cycle that the regulators in the industry are trying to engage. >> bought from ohio as our next caller, go ahead. >> respectfully disagree. you are saying that electronics are superior that mechanical parts, that they are better.
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moving parts where, it doesn't matter if it is a mechanical or if it is electrical. you have made it more expensive. at as someone who has worked on cars, the average joe can't fix a new car now. the picture you just showed had nothing to do with electronics. that is crumple technology, crumple zones. >> hold on, bob. i will let you continue. >> there is a lot of technology, electronics prior to impact that now affect air bags, positions, they apply brakes, and that as electronics. the electronics have provided stability so that we don't lose cars in spins, and so i respectfully disagree.
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and from this world of regulation, we mentioned fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions. there is no way that mechanical systems and the old carburetors in the area that i grew up in could meet those kinds of requirements. >> with the smog stuff, they're not doing that much with electronics. yet driven the price of electronic parts -- first of all, you can't fix the car as an average joe anymore. the mechanical parts are much cheaper than the electronic parts. it is to fold against the average joe that is trying to fix his car because it costs more, and he really can't do stuff that you used to be able to do. >> when you were trying to repair those in the 70's or
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80's, he did not have engines that lasted as long as they do today, the power trains, the brake systems. there are costs, but if you look at inflation over the years, it is not out of proportion to where incomes are today. the beauty of automobiles is that you can go from low-end to as luxurious as you want. but even the lower end vehicles as far as pricing are now getting the benefit of the investments made in electric safety, total quality of the vehicle. there is no fair comparison of quality of vehicles from the '70s or '80s that seemed to be simple at the time to what they are today. >> thank you for being library, cable's greatest gift to -- latest gift to america.
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>> joining us now is the executive director of the center for auto safety. let me begin with the toyota possibility of getting a fine of $64 million from nhtsa. >> it is a well-deserved fine. first of all, toyota brag about saving $100 million in the format -- in the floormat recall. the imposition financially is peanuts. but it is a symbolic message more than a dollar a message. >> if it is peanuts, does congress me to increase the amount that nhtsa is allowed to find? >> absolutely. one judge imposed a $2.40 billion fine last year.
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the epa has an unlimited cap. if we matched the epa, it would be $25,000 a vehicle, and no cap whatsoever. >> and that is why nhtsa came forth with an unprecedented amount. >> toyota knew the system. they withheld information from the agency. it made the agency look like a regulator that was not very effective. that is really because it does not have the resources and it does not have the legal tools that it needs. when toyota took advantage of that, the agency had no choice but to levy the maximum fine. >> what should congress do to give it what it needs?
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>> what congress needs to do is to increase the budget by at least $125 million. they'll have a couple of pennies per vehicle on the road, and they should increase the employees at least threefold. right now, in the enforcement area, they have about a hundred 19 employees. -- 119 employees. you have hundreds of equipment manufacturers that they have to regulate. >> the budget is $867 million, how much of that is for auto safety? >> about 2/3 of the budget goes toward drunk driving laws, seat belt use. in terms of the vehicle, because it is so complex, it has about $200 million.
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>> nasa has been called in to help nhtsa. does n -- is nhtsa capable of doing this on their own or do they have to go to another agency? >> they have the good weather agency because they don't have the manpower or the electronics engineers. if something causes the vehicle to suddenly accelerate, they know it wasn't the computer because they switched it. they could never determine what was wrong with that computer. >> wrapping up the federal oversight -- in the from rochester, minn., you are on the air. >> i don't know about what the gentleman just said, he was a mechanic.
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if a fix one thing, another thing goes wrong. i was wondering, will they have to call back to get it from their country, and how much more data is being held back from going out on the field? >> i want to make sure that we understand your question. >> toyota is a leader of electronics, the things like the vintage data recorder, -- teh event -- the event data recorder. you have to send out to other manufacturers to allow the device to read out what happened in the crash.
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toyota's have more complex electronics. >> should new consumers by toyota cars? >> that is a really hard question. we publish a book every year, the best bets. there is not a single toyota or lexus that has been recalled -- that have been recalled that is the best bet. >> do other companies have similar problems like we have seen with toyota that consumers do not know about? >> every manufacturer has a problem. in terms of unintended acceleration, toyota is far and away -- they can't explain what goes wrong, and the government has done investigations with no for it -- floormat. it comes down to electronics.
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toyota hasn't gotten to the bottom of that, and it does not make sense. >> mark in new york, go ahead. >> am i on? >> you are, go ahead. go ahead with your question or comment. >> i wanted asked about the new cars they had today. i know they have in your bodies and they are small. but i want to know, how come they don't make any cars like he 225 -- the 225 that had the long bodies? . .
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>> the older single frame cars were too stiff. now it would transmit the crash into the occupants compartment. >> shairon in new york -- go ahead. >> in nebraska. >> sorry. go ahead. >> we have a brand new gm silverado truck pickup. the air bag went off as my husband was turning a corner. he had not hit anything. he was on a dirt road, turning onto pavement. as he turned about 15 miles an hour, thankfully he did not hit anything because there was nothing to hit out in the country. he did not go over a bump. nothing. his air bag went off. on star came on. he was not hurt because he slowed down enough. i almost took that same truck
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and would have been out on a double highway if i had been in the same instance. he has started it, gone about 3 miles, and it went off like this. and it went off like this after about 3 miles. we took it to the dealer we bought it from. we had 25,000 miles on it. still under full warranty and they called some guy from detroit to come out and look at it. they had their inspectors look at it. we thought there would be no problem. they said that my husband had washed out the truck mapped out in the center got what. insurance would not cover it because it was not a defect. i said what if my granddaughter poured a cup of tea and that same vulnerable spot that apparently water got into. i am wondering if you have any
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other silverado pickup trucks that have had this problem? >> i do not know about silverado trucks but gm did recall for air bag sensors that get wet. there is a design flaw. that sensor should not have gone off. it should have been waterproof. a piece of practical advice, take gm and your insurance company to small claims court and let them appoint figures at each other and sort it out. >> next phone call from oakland, california. >> i was wondering if anybody has checked out the possibility of cell phones or any other electronic hand-held device causing an interruption in the car computer? >> there have been three recalls were cell phones have caused the electronic transmission in a vehicle to
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solve actuate. clearly, cell phone interference can do that. you have to find the right frequency, the right location and the testing to do this is incredibly complicated. there is no doubt about it, based on the recalls, cell phone interference can trigger the electronics and make them act inappropriately. >> barbara in florida. >> are the highway and street lanes wide enough for traffic moving at 70 miles per hour? >> they are required by a geometric design standards to be wide enough for doing that. the issue is with some big trucks that are on the smaller highways.
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>> here is a tweet from one of our viewers. where was the oversight from congress when all these complaints were filed years ago? you have been critical of toyota. does congress also share in the blame? >> congress had a period of time in the 1980's and 1990's when they had very few oversight hearings. they should have. congress should have been asking more questions and conducting oversight which it did not do. >> next phone call is dawn in omaha, nebraska. >> i had a couple of comments. number one, i was driving my mom in a 93 buick le sabre from one
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town to another to visit her father's grave. i had the cruise control on. when i tapped the break and knocked it off and we went into town, we got close to the graveyard. i touched the break again. the car sped up. i asked my mechanic what happened and he told me i could have turned the turn signal thing for the accelerator to not override. that was back in 2001 or 2002. i was wondering if that had to do with what was going on with toyota. my other question is my dad has been -- the heated windshield wiper back in 78 or 79, he could not get anybody. he tried like crazy. he could not get anybody to go along with it.
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he had the guys put a deal on in colorado on the thing that goes through after all the skiers go down. they were always burning up -- this tube that looks out for down that skiers. a guy that worked for delorean -- if you remember, delorean had a ski mobile company back then. he saw how the windshield wiper worked and said he would like to get 100,000 of those. my dad was developing that. anyway, we tried for general motors, ford, and everybody. the kept turning us down. >> with the invention, they do not want to pay royalties on an
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outside invention in the automobile industry. gm has recently installed some heater window wiper devices. getting the company to put it on their cars, you are up for a battle. in terms of your buick, there were a couple recalls for cruise controls that did exactly what you talked about on gm vehicles and you can contact our website and file a complaint >> another tweet from one of our viewers. what are their extremely few unresolved cases in europe where there is a larger economy and population? he is making the claim that there are fewer unresolved cases in europe compared to the u.s.? >> they have to define unresolved cases. europe, if you look at those
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vehicles, there are a lot more vehicles with break overrides. that would explain fewer sudden acceleration cases in europe. second, european drivers are more adapted shifting into neutral and using breaks to bring a car under control. >> back to this country, how many complaints does nhtsa get? >> they only get about 20,000 to 40,000 complaints per year. they used to get 100,000 or 200,000 per year. >> how are they handled? >> not very well. the agency, this gets into the resource issue. they do not have enough investigators to go through every complaint. what you find is the complaints mass up until there is a
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critical mass and it should be a warning system when they look at things as they come in. >> take cod, massachusetts. >> thank you. i was wondering if it is in the manufacturer's best interest to make cars? >> absolutely. safety sales. -- safety sells. it is the regulatory equivalent of war against the air bags in the early 1990's. manufacturers cannot sell enough air bags these days. >> what about the fact that nhtsa's a budget grew from 1980 from $15 million to $434 million.
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it seems as though it is going to keep going up. >> more of that money went into the driver programs, the highway programs, then it did into vehicle programs. we have been in balance. if you look at the entire department of transportation budget, about 99% of all transportation-related deaths but only 1% of the budget is for vehicle safety. >> joe in new jersey. >> i was wondering about the importance of speed on the roads and how you are going to be calling into that as time goes by because we do not talk enough about it.
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you just mentioned about the europeans having automatically shifting into neutral. i was wondering if you mentioned that when you talk about these increases in speeds with these cars that are getting like that. >> you are talking to the group that is strongly in favor of the now defunct 55 mile per hour speed limit. if you are driving down the road at 70 miles per hour, you are covering much more ground than you are at 55. the energy of the vehicle goes up proportion to the velocity -- proportional to the velocity. you have a lot more to handle. the higher the speed, the less safe. if society has made a compromise of 65 on most roads. we are a consumer group founded by ralph nader backed in 1970.
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we get the ford pinto recalled. we have gotten airbags in every car. we are a very happy group. we will get toyota behind us, too. >> thank you. my question, i have been watching c-span all day asking these executives, why are they going so easy on them? if it was an american-made auto company, they would get nasty with them. it is like they are afraid to speak up. we just got done talking about the ford pinto. they forced that out of production. the core of there, they forced that out of production. -- the corvair, they forced that
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out of production. >> if you look at the fine but the government wants to collect, that is 16 times higher than the highest to date. i dare say that toyota would say that you are picking on us at not gm. we look at the government as an equal opportunity regulator. if an auto company does>> we wi. >> here is our schedule. next, a hearing on school nutrition programs and plans to tackle childhood obesity. later, a look at the impact of long military deployments on children. after that, political and social issues of interest to the
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african american community. >> all this week on c-span to, live coverage of the financial crisis inquiry commission, this time focusing on seven prime lending and the effect on citigroup. see the commission live this week on c-span2. also today, it is -- on afterwards, former education secretary bill bennett examines america from the cold war to the war on terrorism. "book tv" prime time all week on c-span2.
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in the southern leadership conference, we will hear comments from newt gingrich. that begins live thursday at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> our public affairs content is available on television, radio, and online. you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook, and youtube, and sign up for our alert e- mails @ c-span.org. >> a hearing on school nutrition programs. the obama administration unveiled plans to tackle childhood obesity through meal programs at schools. held by the house education and labor committee, this is one hour and 40 minutes.
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>> the committee will come to order. i want to welcome our witnesses and thank you for taking the time to be with us. i am going to introduce you in a moment. first will have opening statements by myself and by representatives kline. my statement starts out -- will change it right away and say "this afternoon." we will examine how strong a nutrition programs can help fight childhood obesity and improve students' learning and health. almost one in three students are obese. this affects every aspect of children's lives from their physical well-being to their
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academic success and self- confidence. the health of our children should be the top national priority. first lady michelle obama recently announced that ending childhood obesity will be her first major policy initiative. last month, she launched the "let's move" campaign to insure children born today will grow up as healthy adults. she group to find what contributions we might make as we consider the reauthorization. by offering a realistic goal of making children healthier, and more active, within a generation, she has set the stage for dramatic improvements. her initiative plans to get parents more informed and involved, making healthy foods more accessible and affordable, increasing attention to physical activity, and improving the quality of food in school meal programs. the government alone cannot curb this epidemic.
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individuals, families, communities, and the private sector share responsibility. i welcome her involvement and look forward to working on this initiative. this committee can play a key role. this year and provides an opportunity to hear from stakeholders. for over 40 years, child nutrition programs have helped families who have struggled with the choices of putting food on the table or paying another bill. school lunch and breakfast programs and the wic program have provided a nutritional safety net for these families, serving nearly 45 million individuals across the country. studies show that pregnant women who participate in the wic program have healthy pregnancies and healthier babies. low-income women are less likely to breast feed than high income mothers. thanks to federal, state, and local efforts, the wic program has improved breast-feeding rates in this population.
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the childhood and adult care food program also provides critical nutrition support to young children. this helps make nutritious meals possible for 3 million children in child-care centers, family child care homes, head start, and after-school programs. meals children received in these programs are more nutritious and well balanced than in other child-care programs. this success in tough economic times and the paperwork requirements have forced sponsors to make a difficult decisions to stop administering this program. in south central l.a., one of the highest risk areas of hunger and obesity in california, no organization was able to sponsor the program this year. we will go into detail on that in the question period. more than 5 million young children lost access to help the meals and snacks. we have to make these programs and other critical source of nutrition and clarity. the discussion does not end there.
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as the first lady said, we must consider the role schools play in providing children with healthy meals and environments that promote academic achievement. we expect children to come to school prepared to learn. hunter and poor nutrition are major barriers to their success. our work to reauthorize the child nutrition programs presents a great opportunity to change the way children eat, to expand their access to nutrition, and to and the child hunger crisis in our country. we must ensure that schools have support to provide these meals so that children can make healthy choices. we must ensure that all eligible children can access these programs by removing barriers families face when enrolling in the school milk program -- and using application forms. we will learn more about the work that lies ahead to provide all children with healthy and safe meals they need to lead healthy and successful lives. i want to thank our witnesses for adjourning us. i would like to recognize mr. kline for the purpose of an
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opening statement. >> good afternoon. welcome to our witnesses. today, we will examine federal child nutrition programs with an eye toward improving children's health. obesity research serious concern for parents and families and present a challenge to the health of our nation. what children eat at school plays a role in their overall nutrition, so i welcome this opportunity to look at what parents and local schools are doing to promote healthy eating habits. the last time we authorized the federal nutrition programs, congress called on school districts to establish well as policies as a way to engage parents in a discussion about nutrition and physical activity. in fact, it was my friend who took the lead on addressing children's help to these local lomas policies. local policies are the most direct and responsive strategy for promoting healthy eating habits at home or at school. the alaskans to get involvement from parents and students.
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-- they allow schools to get involvement from parents and students. they avoid a one size fits all approach to menu planning. these are not the only initiatives to support child nutrition. congress will also look at the child and adult care food program and the women, infants, and children program, commonly known as sic. -- commonly known as wic. our goal in reviewing these programs should be to strike the appropriate balance between federal support the local leadership. with low palomas policies and other initiatives, school districts are combating hunger. i would caution as we prepare to renew these programs that we not confuse support with federal mandates for what children and families are allowed to eat. one report concluded that radical changes might undermine
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participation in the school lunch program, saying the school children are not satisfied with the taste of food served in school meals. participation in school meals is likely to decrease. that is not to say that school meals should not be nutritious, but ultimately good health has to begin at home. that is why it is important to have the flexibility to work with parents to develop policies that work for their students. local schools need the flexibility to determine what school is sold outside the cafeteria. many are voluntarily including healthy snacks in vending machines, but ultimately it is local control that allows for innovation while responding to each school's unique circumstances. we have heard outrageous stories in which a piece of banana bread at a bake sale does not meet nutritional standards but a bag of chips meets the requirements. arbitrary mandates can backfire
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when they override common sense. i hope we will keep these cautions in mind as we explore how local schools can improve children's health. i yield back. >> i would like to introduce our panel of witnesses. the first witness, dora rivas, is president-elect of the school nutrition association. she has been in food service for 36 years. in january 2005, she took the role of child nutrition services executive director for the dallas independent school district. she is certified with the texas association of school nutrition and his credentials as a school nutrition specialist with the school nutrition association. she is also a registered dietitian. carolyn morrison is the head of
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the child and adult care food program and the ceo of child development services. she is current and past president of the national child and adult care food program for room. she has served on numerous usda task forces to improve this program. she has served on the advisory board of the food service marketing institute, the california child and adult roundtable, an california pool -- california food policy. i believe congresswoman chu will introduce the next witness. >> i have the pleasure of introducing one of my constituents, the deputy director of wic in at california. this organization is a nonprofit agency that has been providing services in los angeles and orange county for over 34 years.
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she oversees wic centers throughout the counties, serving 325,000 clients each month. in my district, she oversees seven locations that serve over 46,000 people. she first joined the public health foundation in 1984. she is a registered dietitian and a member of the national association and the american dietetic association. she is a strong and vocal advocate for breast feeding and help the babies and families. thank you for joining us. i look forward to your testimony. >> our next witness will be lucy gettman. she began her career as an advocacy member for the children's hunger alliance in ohio. she has worked with the ohio
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student aid commission and the council of ohio. prior to her work with the national school board, she directed federal relations for the recovery council north america. she specializes in early childhood education, child nutrition, and literacy issues for the national school board association. welcome to all of you. you're prepared testimony will be placed in the record in its entirety. you will be given five minutes to explain the highlights. in front of you, you see small boxes. when you begin, a green light will go on. when you have used four of your five minutes, and orange light will go on. when the red light goes on, your time will have expired. we look forward to your testimony and the responses you will have to committee questions. >> thank you. chairman miller, members of the committee, think you for
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continuing the extraordinary tradition of these chit -- of these hearings. our highest priorities are to expand access and improve the nutritional content of meals and environments at local schools. we have several suggestions to expand access. we recommend that direct certification and direct verification be a high priority that you continue to expand. we recommend the statute be amended to allow for community eligibility in high poverty areas so children do not have to individually fill out applications. the hunger free schools act, h.r. 4148, has a provision which embraces this concept. we embrace the summer food service program and the after- school child-care program. we support the healthy start act to provide 5 cents in usda commodities per meal for school
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breakfast programs. that is h. r. 4638. we urge congress to expand the free meal program gradually to make the income guidelines consistent with the income guidelines in the wic program. h. r. 37 05 has been introduced to do this and we support that approach. we ask that you close a major loophole that allows funds that you appropriate for school meals to be used for expensive -- for expenses unrelated to providing those meals. there is no provision in the regulations that govern which expenses can be reimbursed with this funding. furthermore, when a charge is made that we believe to be inappropriate, there is no recourse. there is no appeals process to usda. our suggested amendment is written in the testimony. second, with regard to nutrition integrity we have a few suggestions. in partnership with first lady michelle obama we have committed
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to further improving health the school meals and advancing nutrition education for america's children. i encourage you to go to our website to learn more about that. we urge the committee to increase the reimbursement in all meal categories. we urge you to also amend the statute to allow the secretary to establish a consistent national application of the most recent dietary doubt -- dietary guidelines for all meals reimbursed by the department of agriculture. this is important in two respects. it requires meals to be consistent with the goals of dietary guidelines. if that is not significant enough, the meals must be consistent with the guidelines and not just the goals. second, someone must be in charge of deciding if the meals are consistent with the guidelines. that responsibility must rest with the secretary. if every state and local
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community can decide if they are meeting the guidelines there is no standard at all. children need the same nutrients regardless of where they live. it is basic science. the country is spending a lot of money to develop the report and to craft a got -- to craft a dietary guideline. they should be followed consistently. the time has come to end the "time and place" rule and give the secretary the authority to regulate the nutritional quality of all foods and beverages sold during the school day. the secretary should promulgate regulations to insure that all foods and beverages are consistent with the most recent edition of the dietary guidelines for americans, taking into consideration the recommendations of the institute of medicine for national nutrition standards. while it is mostly science, let me mention that the current multiplicity of nutrition standards across the country is driving up the cost of the
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program. the more product specifications that exist in the school market, the higher the cost of production and the cost of the program. our specific amendment with regard to consistency is in our written testimony. we must establish an effective nutrition education program in the schools. chairman miller, members of the committee, thank you again for continuing the special tradition. we pledge to work closely with the majority and the minority to craft a reauthorization bill that is both faithful to our children and responsive to the deficit. i would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> missed -- ms. morrison? >> good afternoon. my name is carolyn morrison. i am a sponsor of the usda child and adult good care program in oregon. thank you for the opportunity to
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discuss the key role in child -- in insuring young children have access to good nutrition and to recommend reauthorization. program improvement can help produce childhood obesity, a priority about which our first lady is passionate. every day, billions of young income families require on the healthy food their children receive in the child programs because of this program. under stifles a child's health, creativity, capacity to learn and to be at their best. this program supports good nutrition and prince childhood obesity by offering healthy food and teaches young children and their care givers about healthy lifestyles and real patterns. as a middle-class mom who decided to be a child care provider, i learned first hand from my exposure to the children who were in my care. i will never forget the four year-old boy who wondered why cooked and did not go out and
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buy fast food. his mom was poor and struggled to make ends meet. she did not have the resources, knowledge, or energy to feed them well. the only nutritious meals they receive for many years were when they were in school. given the crucial role early childhood nutrition plays in supporting the cognitive growth and development of a child, and the lack of knowledge and resources of many working families, expanding access to the program is vital to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to grow strong and the productive lives. for many children in child care, the day care program they attend is their primary source of food. they spend 10 to 12 hours each day in care and receive most or all meals while there. allowing child-care facilities the option of serving meals is an opportunity to improve childhood nutrition through reauthorization. the program is an essential support for family head start
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programs. resources include training and technical assistance, on-site visits, and reimbursement for food and meal preparation costs. the program also serves as an important tool in maintaining accessible, affordable child care for working families. reducing eligibility from 50% to 40% could improve access to healthy meals for many children. increasing availability of fresh produce and dairy is essential to improve development and health and to prevent obesity in early childhood, when it can have the most long-term effect. updating program nutrition standards and meal patterns to make them consistent with the recent dietary guidelines could be accomplished through reauthorization. improving the quality will require enhanced meal
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reimbursements. the network of program sponsors is breaking down. sponsors are choosing to discontinue the service because the cannot afford to continue to operate, given the paperwork and oversight responsibilities. nationally, 27% of sponsors have chosen to leave the program. this is especially serious in los angeles, leaving 5000 children and over 700 providers and served in a very low income community. a large challenge in my state of oregon is the size and geography of the state. 67% of all caregivers are concentrated in six of 36 counties. administrative reimbursement rates could be brought up to the level necessary to provide quality nutrition and wellness education, cover the cost a transportation to rural areas, and the time spent in helping low-income providers overcome literacy and language issues.
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retaining caregivers is challenging as they must remain eligible by meeting training requirements. we worked to meet this challenge by offering online training in health and nutrition. this positively impacted our retention of child care providers, as they now have access to mandatory training regardless of where they live. among other topics, this focuses on serving vegetables, low-fat milk, and whole grains. it helps them meet licensing requirements. partnerships with local colleges have helped us develop these resources as there is not enough money from sponsor reimbursements to develop them. in closing, we strongly support legislation like the access to nutrition act, which includes the recommendations i discussed. lastly, and by each of you in your district to visit childhood homes and sponsoring organizations to see firsthand
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the opportunities available through the program for improving children's health and reversing childhood obesity. thank you for this opportunity to share information on behalf of all the sponsors. >> thank you. >> distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the nice introduction. i am here from los angeles. i work with a very large organization. i am here as the voice of the national wi associationc , the advocacy voice of over 12,000 service agencies that provide wic services throughout the country. of these 9.2 million, 7 million are interested in children under the age of five. preventing childhood obesity needs to start in the wic program.
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we have a solution. we can start to prevent childhood obesity from the day the child is born. the way we do it is by ensuring that this child is exclusively breastfed, not only at birth but for the duration. according to the cdc, we can prevent 16% to 30% of childhood obesity it the child is breast fed. the greatest protection happens when the child gets no formula and no solids for at least six months. this is a magic pill. why haven't we embraced it? it is not for lack of effort. i want to sec chairman miller -- i want to thank chairman miller specifically. thanks to all of you, the agricultural appropriations committee provided a major expansion of breast feeding money. they created a new breast feeding performance bonus, which is very unusual and extremely
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welcome. it provided new funding for evaluation of program effectiveness. it was like manna from heaven. we were waiting for it to change. it is a fabulous tool for us to get out the good nutrition messages. it has a little extra food for the breast-feeding mother. what are we doing with breast feeding? our rates are increasing, but they are increasing very slowly. we are lagging behind the national data. non-wic moms do better than wic moms. why is that happening? i am going to ask you for five things. number one, we would like to direct food and nutrition services to restore the $2 increments that the fleet breast-feeding moms aren't. it does not sound like a lot.
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that $2 -- you can leverage it when you are working with a mom. if she is vacillating -- you get ester fruits and vegetables. we would like to see that put back in. we would like you to give us some time so we can help mothers. how am i going to do that? i cannot create time. you can. you can help us by expanding certification for children to one year. we do that for breast-feeding moms. we should do that for children. that would relieve precious minutes that breast-feeding mothers need for support. what about barriers and external to wic? everybody does not live in the world. if they did, we would not have childhood obesity and we would have everybody breast feeding. the external barriers to breast feeding in comprehensive policy changes in the institutions that our mothers go to outside of iwc. we need to optimize the money to
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do what we should be doing. i am speaking specifically of unsupported infant feeding policies in health-care systems. i am speaking of the intense direct marketing of infant formula. i am speaking of community and workplace support. what i am asking you is to -- i hate the cliche think outside the box, but think outside the box. work with members of congress and figure out how we can tackle this problem. how can we attack legislation that says the hospital should not sabotage breast feeding but should support breastfeeding? how does it sabotage breast feeding? mothers get infant formula right at birth. it is not that people want to be mean. it is a policy. it is an archaic policy that needs to be changed. there are hospitals that have embraced policies. oregon has wonderful hospitals.
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northern california does. we have very good models. i would love to have more of them throughout the country. infant formula -- my time is almost up. moms get very confused with marketing messages. they come and say "can i have breast milk in a can?" there is no such thing. they get free formula when they leave the hospital. they get free formula at their doorstep. this has to stop. our mothers are suffering. our babies are getting fatter. nobody wants that. my time is up. i had more to say in my written testimony. thank you for indulging me. >> chairman miller, ranking member klein, i am director of federal programs for the national school board association. as a former child nutrition advocate and an advocate for
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school boards, i thank you for the opportunity to address the committee on this important issue. the national school boards association represents the nation's nearly 15,000 local school districts and local school board members by working through our state school boards association. at the organization level, school health programs assist school policy makers and educators to make informed decisions about health issues affecting the academic achievement and help the development of students and the effective operation of schools. services are provided with and through member state associations and school boards, in partnership with other national organizations such as the national association of state boards of education. additionally, we are very proud of our efforts to promote nutrition in the schools and to prevent child to the obesity
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through web-based services, educational programming, and publications. a summary of efforts is provided with our statement. local school districts believe child nutrition is vitally important to a healthy learning environment for children to achieve their full potential. healthy students learn better. children who eat nutritious foods and stay active are healthier, perform better in school, and learned behaviors that will keep them healthier throughout their lifetime. school boards are acutely aware of the importance of ensuring that children have access to nutritious foods. many have already taken steps to improve nutrition and healthy eating. one such example is the state of delaware, where a public-private partnership including the delaware school boards association established help the school boards to recognize the work of public schools championing children's health
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including nutrition. . .
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>> including child nutrition with the federal government played an important supporting role. therefore, i have the following recommendations for strengthening the attrition programs in the reauthorization. recognized local school district authority and the variance among circumstances land laws or policy. next, refrain from imposing additional mandates outside of the federally subsidized school lunch and breakfast programs. in addition, support the school district, local communities and states that are assuming greater
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responsibility for nutrition through incentives and grants that enable them to expand their commitment. finally, in sure that adequate resources are available for the nutrition programs, the meals, administration, training for staff and other stakeholders, for nutrition education and support of local initiatives. these revelations -- these recommendations are determined by members of states selected to represent the perspective of 75,000 local school board members. the policy is on going. the development begins in states. in conclusion, reauthorization of the child nutrition act is an opportunity to celebrate the progress made since the 2004 reauthorization and to envision
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and even healthier future for our children, including the quality of an extending access to school meals is important for our children and our nation. school districts are vital partners in an effort to ensure a positive in violent for children to achieve their potential. it provides an opportunity to support and a notch this local leadership and authority. thank you again for the opportunity to comment. we look forward to continued conversation and collaboration about this issue. >> thank you. thank you to all of you for your testimony. miss carolyn morrison, i only have five minutes, can you have a more expensive explanation of what happened? why did these agencies in los angeles decide they could no longer participate? >> the program was being
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sponsored by a multi-service organization. the administrative compensation for the program was not financially viable. it was not financially liable for a position to continue to support that program. there was not enough money for the administrative reimbursement to support that program. >> that is separate from the food package? >> that is separate, yes. >> it was your understanding that it was a question of the cost of administration. >> that is true. it is the cost of the administration of the program that is causing sponsors to discontinue sponsoring the program. >> you would attribute that to what? why has that changed all of a sudden? >> one of the things that this happened in the last year is that the reimbursement for the administration was reduced because of the tie to the
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consumer price index, which went down. that caused the reimbursement rate for a certain level of homes to go down. also, the ministry of burdens of paperwork and the additional block claiming that has become a requirement cost programs to close. it requires more visits. it cannot be accomplished without increasing the reimbursement for the initiation. >> thank you, for that. miss dora rivas, you make two recommendations with respect to the dietary guidelines, and one is that it is no longer sufficient to simply try and meet the goals or attempting to meet the goals of the dietary guidelines. the dietary guidelines in and of themselves need to be met. is that a fair statement? >> well, currently, we have
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national guidelines that follow the dietary goals. recently, the usda contract with the institute of medicine to further looking to the dietary guidelines in order to look at the overall problem of reducing child of obesity. so, currently, what we want to be able to do is to increase our reimbursement and show that we could go and have an meet those deadlines. we need a secretary of agriculture to be able to define those guidelines so that we can consistently apply them. >> define how they apply to the school nutrition programs? >> how the guidelines for the institute of medicine's
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recommendations will be applied consistently throughout the country. >> you have landed that on the secretary -- you think that is the place? >> we currently have meals patterns, but we have new recommendations from the institute of medicine that have been offered through the institute of medicine and we are needing some additional guidance to implement those guidelines nationally, are consistent. currently, many state and local districts are making changes to their local standards and that increases costs because there are different versions that are being applied nationally. being able to apply them consistently and have the
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secretary of agriculture define what those guidelines are will make our programs more consistent and reduced the overall cost of our programs. >> thank you. i am delighted when i read in your testimony that you have joined up with first lady michelle obama in this campaign for healthy eating and healthy meals, and try to use, as she explained to us, trying to use these programs as teachable moments, as a part of the classroom. whether it is the school garden, or the launcher breakfast program -- to do this, i was discussing diabetes with some people yesterday and when you think that the 23 million children and adults have diabetes -- under the age of 20 it is 186,000 individuals. it would seem to me that as we
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talk about obesity, diabetes and diet, there is a moment here to do an education. if you're going to have this explosion of diabetes in the adult population, some kind of work with the children while you have these moments are around the school nutrition programs could conceivably, if well- structured and properly delivered, conceivably have a lifetime of benefits for those individuals. i do not know how you are thinking about this. >> mentally. we see the school nutrition association -- the school nutrition association sees this as a wonderful opportunity to utilize cafeterias as a learning laboratory for healthy eating so that we can improve the eating habits of our children. we support coordinated school health programs so that we can work together with the total school community to be able to promote the school lunch
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program. we have healthy meals that provide, you know, healthy entrees, more fresh fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and the model with the healthy meal is. if our students participate in their program, there are able to take that message home. in the -- in partnership with the total school committee, i think we can work toward having healthier students and reducing all of the chronic thomas's backers of from unhealthy eating. >> thank you. mr. john kline. >> thank you, mr. chairman and to the witnesses for being here today. i was struck that it seems everyone of you have something in common in that every program does seem to need more money. we have heard calls for adequate
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resources, enhanced meal reimbursements, covering the cost of transportation and delivery and so forth. we have got that message,. we did not actually have the money, but we do have the message that there is more money required. we had a difference of opinion about role of the federal government, how much will be dictated by the secretary of our agriculture. miss dora rivas, i think you said that you were emphasizing the national school board association -- that there ought to be more local control and the federal government has to be careful about how it is intrudes in that. it does seem to me that the programs at the local level
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allow for more input and support from parents, which i think we would all agree is very helpful. the more parents involved in education, in general, the better we are, not just on nutrition. could you address that? involving parents and how that would relate to how much the federal government dictates in the process? miss lucy gettman? >> thank you. parents play and netflix the critical role in the success of all of our collective -- parents play an absolutely critical role in the success of of our collective efforts. capitalizing on all of the momentum is tantamount. all school members are elected
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from the community. many of them are parents, educators, providers, or business leaders in the community. they are the perfect leverage point to optimize the collaborative potential with communities. -- the perfect leverage point to optimize the collaborative potential with communities. another point to recognize -- that teachable moments for brought up in early in this hearing, they can be maximized at the local school district level, either through professional development with in-school staff, wherethrough pta, basically the role of local street the school districts -- local school district. local school districts can absolutely magnified parent education, parent involvement, ultimately resulting in better
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nutrition. >> one thing i know about the local school board is that you can reach out and touch it. i think my daughter has been involved in such a battle here lately as a mother of two children in the public schools. i just want some clarification here. miss dora rivas, whether it was you or not, i am going to turn to you. i think it falls into the realm which you were discussing. i want to talk, or just have you addressed the issue of the so-called competitive foods. so often, you have an athletic organizations in the school that have big sales and they took the famous brownies and banana bread and that sort of thing -- is it your position and the position of your organization that that should fall into the same guidelines? >> that is correct we support
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local policy -- that is correct. we support local policy with sound science. our role is to teach children a good, basic nutrition. they go to the cafeteria line. we tried to teach them about a good balanced meal. i think we are talking about meals served outside of the classroom, very often they do not support that same message. so, we are urging congress to eliminate the time and place will because what messages we are trying to send in the cafeteria in promoting the recommended dietary guidelines and the institute of medicine's recommendations, they need to be consistent throughout the whole
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campus. >> you do want to regulate the banks sell? >> we want to have the secretary determine what those guidelines should be, so that we are consistent both in the cafeteria and outside of the cafeteria. what we are trying to do is have the students participate in the program. when students are tempted to go outside of the cafeteria, they're not drinking their milk, which is a real, critical part of their growth and development. >> my time has long since expired. i think i have got the answer. we want to regulate the big sell. that is what i was trying to get at. i do believe i understand your position. i will yield back. others have questions.
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>> thank you. congressman mccarthy. >> thank you. this is an something we have working region been working on for several years. i want to -- been working on for several years. i want to thank the panel for bringing this message to our audience. michelle obama speaking about this constantly has finally moved up the radar of what you have all known for a long time -- which need to change these things. we have worked on issues that are readying herself for the child metrician reauthorization. the benefits of breast feeding are well recognized, as we discussed today. just thinking back, i spent over 30 years as a nurse, and a lot of times i had to work on the ob/gyn for, and it is there a that we need to make sure that our doctors and nurses are
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trained to giving the benefits the child to go through by breast feeding. that is why i work to get the grand introduced -- the grant and works toward addressing the issue. i'm also looking? -- i am also looking at how to identify programs, especially for wic. what i would ask to is what are the greatest hurdles that we are facing and beyond pure funding, what additional resources could support wake in its efforts to support breast feeding? what volunteers be helpful in the course you're looking at?
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miss kiran saluja? >> we can put a lot of effort into promoting breast feeding. until we fix the institutions that do not make it happen right, it will be throwing more money at the problem and hoping that it goes away. i want to really dig knowledge that the peer-counseling money is phenomenal. -- i really want to acknowledge that the peer-counseling money is phenomenal. when the human-made issues that happen when they get confused by the messaging, when the baby is crying and does not take their breast, that becomes difficult for them. perhaps there is a place for some help that happens at a community task force collaborative level, where we can bring 1 million people a march in the streets saying that hospitals need to change,
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everybody needs to sing the same tune. the other programs that allow mothers access. all of these programs need to be in sync. we need to have the same message. we are here to support exclusive of breast feeding and long-term breast feeding as a vehicle to prevent child of obesity and all of the other fabulous think that, along with it. volunteers, there is definitely a place for volunteers. i would leave it to local programs to figure out how best to use them. we can never have enough resources, but we really need the system to change. perhaps these can be the detail people. they changed the name of the formula. they get to the doctor's office and something is on the horizon. maybe they can become the breast feeding detail people. i think there is a way to do
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this. you have to think through this, locally, collaborative live, but you have to get rid of the problems that have been created so that mothers and babies to not suffer needlessly. >> one of the things -- we have a couple of programs working in my district where we have brought child nutrition back in, with an exercise program working together one of the things i did not hear anyone talking about was fed data that we have -- was the data that we have in these areas. the marx went out. children started getting higher grades across the board. we are overlooking that. let's face it, our young women and boys at that age, they need
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to move around a little bit more. we have constrained them in so many ways. i am not saying a free-for-all, i do not believe in that, but i know that two or three minutes of exercise in between class's was subject has helped them a little bit. thank you for your testimony. >> thank you. mr. david roe. >> i like to give all of you and a. i'm going to start at birth. that is what i did for a living. birth babies. one of the things that i did -- several other things i ran across, and one of the issues is work. going back to work and breast feeding is a huge issue. basically, your education level and cultural issues, we emphasize that in our practice.
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we deliver about 1200 babies a year. we emphasize that a high% -- a high percentage breastfed. i pitch that out with no solutions, but just want to point out that that is a problem. also, how we grow up, and i think it is extremely important to start in schools, as congresswoman slaughter did, we started a program called up and asked them. we weighed all of the children and found that 39% were overweight. 1% were on-white. -- worked under-weight. growing up, my mother did not allow me to stay in the house. you had to be outside playing. you have to go out.
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we only eight when we ate. there were no fast food restaurants where i live. we ate vegetables and fruits. that is how we grew up and that is how i continue to eat today. we are what we eat. i think that is a situation where that has to begin at birth. one of the problems i have with the program is that when it is two $68 cents a prepay and it cost the school more, that as a whole already. you cannot continue to do that. the other thing where school cafeterias have expense for the lunch program where you are paying for things that do not have anything to do with food. the other thing that i would recommend you look is an energy audit.
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we did an energy audit for all our buildings. one of the biggest consumers we had were the old ovens and stuff you prepared the food with. we were able to go in with a company that actually found enough energy savings to replace all of the more modern equipment at more caught -- at no cost. i would look at those opportunities. miss morrison, the other point you brought up, and we did this for two years, to budget makes good sense. any comments and the u.s. -- any comments you have a -- >> i convinced -- @ begin at the birth speech. it is a common misconception that people have a breast -- that breast feed cannot go back
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to work. it is seen as a hindrance, but it really is not. what comes into play. -- wake comes into play. for the past 10 years, we have put pumps out in work sites. we have legislation in 36 states that actually provides lactation accommodation at the work site. in los angeles, we have never had an employer turn us down. we are the advocates. the mother comes to us and says they are ready to go back to work. we call the employer, tell about the california law and they open them, welcome them with open arms. we give the pump for free, they give it back to us when they're done. this program in los angeles, we have actually done a study on it, it gives us 120 days of exclusive breast feeding just because the mother had the
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support and the location was provided for her at the worksite. having said that, i would really urge that we look to see that the usda allows us to use contingency funds if needed to buy additional pumps. that will be our next challenge, as you pointed out i also want to point out legislation that has been introduced to provide tax credits offering lacks asian opportunities. -- wax station -- lactation opportunities. it is the first sign of the fence -- of defense. >> did you also asked ms. morrison? >> what we are also proposing is
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that we are a lot have business 101, he did not plan a budget without having a carryover. without these regulations, we're not allowed to have carried over. it is very difficult. is that enough of an answer? thank you. >> thank you, mr. scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. have any of the panelists been aware of any successful farm-to- school programs, where you work with local farmers to sell food to the local school system? >> i know that across the country have been number of successful programs and we work through the united states department of agriculture, through the commodity program, to direct farm-to-school in our school district in dallas.
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there is a number of them across the country. >> are they helpful? should they be encouraged? >> absolutely. we are able to get a greater variety of fruits and vegetables that students have not been exposed to. it is a very successful program. we would be glad to provide you with a list of some successful programs. >> thank you. >> with the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> representing the garden state, i would just like to bring to the gentleman's attention, a bill introduced by myself and others to amend the school lunch program for improving farm-to-school programs. >> mr. scott was to be on that bill. >> that was my question. >> i think so.
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is it any more expensive to provide healthy meals opposed to not healthy meals? >> we currently provide healthy mills. we currently meet the dietary guidelines did >> it is more expensive to provide healthy meals? >> it is. it is significantly more to offer more whole grains and more fresh fruits and vegetables. >> one of the curiosities of the program is the the reimbursement rate is the same all over the country. where the cost of food and personnel might be the best we different, the cost of meals except this time. is that right? >> data is correct. -- that is correct. >> does that make sense? >> does that make sense? we all have different challenges. we all have varying labor
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costs, fuel costs, but i think the overall problem is said it is currently under-funded. all of us are struggling with a tight budget and need increase reimbursements. we were urging congress for 35 cents more across the board, both for breakfast and for lunch. we are wanting to meet the institute of medicine pulldown new recommendation of offering more fresh fruits and vegetables, and in order to do that, we need a higher reimbursement. >> how much of your budget is used up in administration and trying to find out who is eligible, and who was not eligible? >> it seems to me that in many schools were virtually everybody is eligible, it makes no sense to waste the money. you could serve everybody for the cost of flying with the eligibility standards. >> that is one of our recommendations. you do reach -- you do reach a
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certain threshold where at a certain point, when you have certain districts that have certain levels of free and reduced lunch participation, it is more cost-effective to be able to eliminate the process of application. >> in virginia we have a tough budget situation and there is consideration being given to dispense in the school breakfast can someone say how important the school breakfast program is? >> i can certainly do that. i have been in love in a number of this -- i have been involved in a number of districts where we have had programs where we have expanded breakfast through grad-and-goal breakfast and classroom in the clear -- and breakfast in the classroom. our teachers are advocates for it. they see that students are more
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attentive. there are less students going to the nurse's office because they're hungry. there is research to show that, especially when it comes to analytical skills and math and science, they are able to mentally be able to accept those concepts easier when they have had breakfast. >> thank you. miss marcia fudge. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, all of you. the u.s. health-care cost due to obesity is estimated to be about $150 billion a year, half of which is paid to medicaid and medicare. with nearly one of every $6 of our economy spent on health care, which cannot afford to continue to sell junk food in
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schools. to many children begin my district, one of the poorest in the country, depend on food schools in schools -- fooled served in schools. i am not willing to gamble with their health. my question is, from the perspective of the school nutrition association, do you think a minimum nutrition standard for food sold out of some school meals nationwide is needed to protect the integrity of the school lunch program and the health of all of our children in all of our states. >> absolutely. as the school nutrition association totally encourages congress to limit the time and place rule because we absolutely believe that the health of our students -- that we are investing in the future of our
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country when we have well- nourished, healthy students. being able to teach that same message of healthy meals, both inside and outside the cafeteria -- it is critical to them developing healthy eating habits in the future and eliminating chronic illnesses, as well. >> so, there should be a minimum standard? >> pepco lee. we are recommending that the standards be set by the secretary of our culture falling -- the secretary of agriculture following the guidelines. >> thank you. he recommended that the eligibility taste be reduced from 40% to 50%. while this reduction will have a positive effect on rural and suburban communities, with a
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positive effect on urban communities and if so, how? >> certainly. the percentage of low-income children or families in urban areas is no difference -- is no different than in the rural areas. if you have a district that has 50% -- in fact, it will impact them more in the urban areas. you'll have more children concentrated in urban areas that would be impacted by reducing that eligibility to 40% than you would begin a rural area the answer to your question is that it would have a greater impact in the urban area. -- a rural area. the answer to your question is that it would have a greater impact in the urban area. >> miss lucy capt., -- miss lucy
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gettman, one of your recommendations is that congress refrain from imposing additional regulations or mandates on schools outside of the federal that subsidize school lunch programs. if congress adopts your recommendation and does not work to make standards for food sold outside of males, how we ensure that our students are only offered the healthiest food? >> thank you. a couple of the responses that come to mind include that schools and school districts are moving in the right direction as the intermission you just shared demonstrates a fairly significant -- certainly not all, but a lot of school districts are moving toward determine what is appropriate for students to have access to be in their schools. one thing that we have not talked about much is that in
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light of the direction of many school districts and states with regards to the implementing standards for school nutrition, i am not sure we have asked the question whether national standards would necessarily improve over those which already exist in some states and schools. i think sometimes the downside of uniformity is that we have not reached quite as high as we would like to. i think it is also important to honor the fact that long-term solutions are more effective when they are locally initiated and there is local engagement and the innovation is coming from a local level. that is where i think we would recommend some attention and resources being devoted. i would also have some -- give
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some thought to any unintended consequences to having a national standards. i already mentioned, is it possible that national standards could be weaker than those that already exist? also, as mr. john kline brought up, we want to make sure that our approach deals with all of the environments and climates and contacts that children have, so that is not just in the school, but it is also in the home and in the community, so that children who do not have access to low-nutrition food in vending machines, for example, are not just bringing them in or buying them elsewhere or eating differently at home and they do it school. i think it is important to take as comprehensive and approach as possible and to recognize that successful solutions to these
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issues need to have strong the engagement from the local level. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. i yield back. >> mr. jared polis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i could not agree more. my first question is for ms. dora rivas. numerous scientific studies have shown the benefit of lower-fat, high-fiber plants ---based dietr children. they have been promoted for chronic disease prevention. american health association have called on federal food assistance programs to emphasize vegetables and non-dairy vegetarian foods. based on scientific research, it seems we can be making
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tremendous progress by expanding access to healthy vegetarian sources and reducing children's intake of fat and cholesterol. many children also prefer such optic -- auctions. many children are allergic to milk, lactose intolerant, or choose not to drink milk for other reasons, but they miss out on vital resources. my question is two-fold. should we encourage budgetary and options by making them more affordable, and providing incentives for low-income schools to provide them, and secondly, should schools provide non-dairy alternatives that meet nutritional standards for kids that will not drink milk or cannot drink milk. >> the school nutrition operation -- de school
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nutrition board did and operations report in the last year. the majority of school districts are currently offering vegetarian auctions as a choice in their menu planning. in many cases, some of the options, because they're not very popular, are not more expensive. one we have special diets for our students, some of those substitutions are also higher. they are more expensive. that is all the reason why that additional reimbursement is very helpful in being able to expand those menu options. >> the second part with regard to milk? >> currently, we offer a variety of milk and school districts can choose to offer, as well,
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milk alternate substitutions. the cost of a comparable milk substitute is probably four or five times the price of an 8 ounce carton of milk. again, it is more expensive to be able to do that. >> what could be done to bring down those prices? >> i think more students excepting that choice. when we put the soy milk option on the line, a milk carton might cost as 20 cents, but a source of alternate is about 75 cents. when we put that on the line, very few students take that choice. i am not really sure how to get
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industry to be able to reduce those costs, but obviously the more students that are exposed to it and learn to accept it, that also lowers bat cost. it is basically -- lowers that cost. it is basically, because it is not the high-volume item, it will cost us more. >> can you share your recommendation of how we can strengthen petition education -- nutrition education? >> a number of years ago there used to be funds that were designated at the rate of about 50 cents per student. those funds were eliminated. certainly, more funding for nutrition education would be necessary to be able to expand the nutrition education. we are also working with the coordinated school health
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programs to work on incorporating nutrition education into the classroom color, paid >> one final question, you mentioned -- the classroom curriculum. >> one final question, you mention the vast majority -- >> i do not of the exact figure. it was between 96%. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. miss dora rivas, i'll understand that school districts bear a significant costs in the minister in the school lunch program. one of those costs have to do with what they paid the school district itself for the cost of just being there. i and stand there is no standardization with regard to what -- i understand there is no
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standardization of with regard to what the school district can charge. one school district just told me about how they were charged for using the multi-purpose room all day long when in reality they only use it about one half hour a day. what can be done about this? you talked about limiting the administrative costs entirely. could there be some standardization that can be done across states? >> the usda currently allows some indirect costs that go to producing the meal as an allowable cost, but currently, there are no specific guidelines to be able to determine what those indirect costs are and so we urge you to have the secretary of agriculture defined those guidelines more clearly so
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that nationally, we are able to have a more consistent guidance in what districts are able to charge school districts. that would prevent school districts from charging. the example you used, the multi- purpose room that is used minimally. >> should be done stage-by- state? i'm wondering the best ways. >> i think the most consistent way would be to set general guidelines produces a national program. it is funded nationally. the guidelines all come from the secretary of agriculture. they, i think would be the best body to be able to determine what those guidelines -- they know what those expectations are for producing that meal. they establish the guidelines for producing that meal. what would be allowable, i think
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would be best determined by the secretary of agriculture. >> there are also the minister of costs and verification that you talked about -- the administrative costs and verification that you talked about. not all communities would qualify. what other ways can you streamline the verification? >> i am not familiar with all of the variety of ways that that can be done, but i know that there is a certain threshold that a school district begins to achieve that after a certain level of a percentage of free and reduced. it gets to where it is more cost-effective to eliminate the whole application process. there is a big amount of expense that goes to processing applications and verification.
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so, there is a threshold and we urge you to consider that because it would be more a cost- effective way and these communities to expand participation. i had experience with a program where we had about 84% free and reduced. when we went to that program, we were able to eliminate the stigma that stevens had about the program and we were able to increase breakfast from 30% to 50%. we were able to increase middle school and high-school from 10 to 15%. it is especially in communities where you're putting more money in filing cabinets as opposed to the plight of children. >> -- the plates of children.
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>> i'll understand that there is a shockingly low rate of students that are at the subsidized level. in my district, it is only 7%, as opposed to those of the subsidized been from 60% to 90%. what could be the cost of allowing this students to reduce one's level to been fully subsidized? >> that is another area or recommendation priority that the authority has. sometimes there is a very small percentage at that reduced category that having to pay 40 cents. frankly, when you get some of those students and you have families of four or five students in that household, it is very unaffordable for families. very often, all our own
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cafeteria supervisors, even though many of them are struggling with their own personal budgets, take out money out of their own pockets to make sure that children have a meal. our recommendation is that over time, we have that scale adjusted to where we begin incorporating the guidelines to include the reduced student and expand to where they eventually are also fully subsidized like the free students are. >> thank you. i yield back. clocks thank you, mr. chairman. -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. we put a program in for fresh fruits and vegetables being made available throughout the day in the classroom.
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i visited one of the programs in my district. it was very, very successful. it was very popular with the teachers and students. could you comment on that program? >> that is a wonderful program. i personally have that experience with the dallas school district. we have over 20 or 30 programs right now where we receive funding for fresh fruits and vegetables and we have volunteers. they come in, they helped us to beat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. again, many of these children are not exposed to some of these fruits and vegetables. they have never seen what a kiwi fruit, or a watermelon, because they have never seen it at home. our staff volunteers deliver it to their class room. it is a very successful program.
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>> in that two or three schools that i visited, it cuts across the social-economic alliance. >> absolutely. it is available to all students did it is part of a nutrition program. part of that program requires the to provide nutrition education as a part of that program. >> i remember i went to one of the wealthiest school districts in my district and nothing was being wasted. there was very little waste. it was an extremely popular program. we had a study in a poverty area and an area that was the opposite of poverty. let me ask you this question, too. i started the first school breakfast program when i was a teacher at a central high school
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for a small number of students. does the program have any effect upon attendance at the school? >> as i was mentioning the benefits of all of the breakfast program, attendance was one that i forgot to mention, along with improved attention in the classroom, behavior in the classroom, you know, being able to learn certain math and analytical skills, going less often to the nurse's office, all of those are great benefits. >> especially among the poor, they left home in the morning without any breakfast, and they're quite interested to get to school to get to breakfast. generally, they stayed there.
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udc and effected >> i have had some students having been involved with the breakfast program where i had breakfast in a question that one school, and this didn't happen to be -- and the student happened to be rezoned, and he wanted to go back to the other school where they had breakfast. >> thank you. thank you, all of you very much. >> mr. rush holt. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to acknowledge carolyn mccarthy. i am finding that in these tough economic times, the number of children that need the lunches and breakfast -- the number is greater than ever. as you may have gathered from my interchange with mr. scott, i
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have a real interest in the farm-to-school program. you probably know, it is a key priority of the agriculture secretary and first lady michelle obama has planted a garden and so forth. this program not only provides the fresher food, but it also has an important educational component that i think lasts into adulthood. i am pleased that some of us have introduced the farm-to- school improvements act which provides technical assistance for the use of local foods, and improves the relationship between local schools and local providers and provides mandatory funding each year for the program. it does provide local economic
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benefit. it provides an important educational component, as i said. miss dora rivas, i would like to ask you about a couple of things. first, starting with the breakfast program, but you recommend providing commodity food for breakfast, which can be used if you already have them for the lunch program, what about farm-to-school? do you see a goal for that in the breakfast programs? >> we are urging congress to consider five additional acts for commodities. the farm-to-school program would certainly be a wonderful thing to have. you're absolutely right about the vegetable gardens and providing the nutrition
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education aspect to the students' knowledge. once they see and are exposed to those fruits and vegetables, and they see it growing in the neighborhood garden or at their school garden, they are able to see that it is not just something you pick up at the grocery store, but you can grow it at home. they take those messages home to their parents, but any financial assistance for the program, the institute of medicine guidelines have increased the requirements in the breakfast category to expand more fresh fruits and vegetables as well. that funding is very critical to meeting those guidelines, as well. >> thank you. despite being authorize, the existing of federal farm-to-
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school programs has not been funded. what would you say about making the funding of mandatory? >> absolutely. >> absolutely. any funding you can make mandatory will -- we will graciously accept. >> not a trick question. >> a key pillar of the first lady's let's move campaign to solve the problem of obesity is to serve healthier foods. she is encouraging or working toward the goal of doubling the number of schools that participate in the healthier u.s. school challenge. what does it take to become a healthier u.s. school? how can we help more schools to get there?
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is bubbling in a reasonable goal? >> i think it is a reasonable goal. we have been working closely with usda and they are looking at some of the paperwork criteria to make it easier for school districts to apply because when we used to see these applications we have to fill out, it made it more complicated. the benefits of the healthier u.s. school is not only does it have requirements in the menu planning, which is key, but it also has a component for physical activity. in that campaign, one of the pillars is for males but the other -- is for meals but one is
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for activity. it is a wonderful recognition that school districts can achieve that which promotes both nutrition and nutritional education and physical activity. a wonderful program and the school nutrition association is going to the really encouraging more of our members to participate and we are going to be promoting it at our meetings and conferences and everywhere we can. >> thank you. i am sorry time does not allow with discussion with the other excellent witnesses. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. better nutrition creates better help, greater productivity and lower health-care costs. we are talking about that quite a bit on the hill right now. if the word that you do makes a
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big difference in the lives of these children and adults. thank you for that. we had a recent report from the university of new hampshire that had a disturbing note. it said that the top% of income- eligible rural children did not participate in the school lunch program. can you identify any variants to that? >> i am not familiar with that community but i know that one of the barriers that there is a social statement related to the application -- social stigma related to the application put up more funding to have the technology to make applications online and easier to access and reduce that stigma that
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students might have about making meals available would be helpful. i think in a community where there is a high poverty area, the community eligible types of programs would be helpful because in that case, students would not have to fill out an application to reduce the cost to the school district. >> i ask that we could submit a copy of the report to the committee. >> no objection. >> i did not think you would mind. the other thing i wanted to ask is the president's wife is
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putting this terrific program into place and i know that she has shown great commitment for children and nutrition and obesity. the issue of obesity and diabetes is enormous. she has talked about these pillars. last year when we had richard simmons here, he talked about the necessity for exercise and children were not getting enough. i was remembering when my own kids were in school, the punishment if a child was hyperactive that there were not allowed to move around. if they could not stay still, they would miss recess. it seems like it was the exact opposite of what we hope it would be. while we start to integrate these programs and bring in more people, will you be part of the team if you are in a school where you will actually be
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included in some of the decision that are made as part of the education process so that it is not only about food so that children to not have too much sugar and whatever it is but that we also make sure that the policies in the classroom and on the playground makes sense because what mr. simmons was talking about was a very real problem that kids are not exercising enough. will your voice be heard? will you be a part of that approach? >> i would suggest that you go to the website because in there, we have a press release where one of our initiatives and partnering with the first lady was to include coordinated school health a concept that
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more of our members embrace. i think very often what we have found is when you work in partnership with the total school community, we are more successful in improving the total environment not only from the menu planning aspect but to the physical activity and even the vending program at the school because we are supporting each other toward that same effort. >> let me indicate that i have rincipsympathy for exacerbated -- exasperated ghi suggest that school boards d others who are involved in budgetary decisions about physical exercise need to be a part of that so that it is not just nutrition or one component
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but looking at the whole child and all of the different issues to really change the direction we are headed in. thank you for being here. >> thank you for your testimony. you made a recommendation, i was stunned by your description of the brook and hospitals. i will take your suggestion to talk to mr. waxman and mr. wrangle about this. this is unacceptable. a year when we have spent talking about driving down long- term health care costs, the recommendations from the institute of medicine on breast feeding would not be incorporated into the birth of
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those children. i appreciate very much that recommendation panda thank you. we look forward to this reauthorization. you have made very good recommendations, some of which we have discussed with you previously and some we have yet to follow up on. they will get the full attention of the committee. >> thank you to the witnesses. >> without objection, members will have 14 days to submit material -- additional material or questions to the record. this hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> still to come on c-span, a look at the impact of long military deployments on children. after that, a discussion on political and social issues of interest to the african american community. later, a conference on innovation and resources. >> former citigroup executives testified before they financial condition after the -- as they look into the spreading of risky mortgage debt. we also get remarks from the current and former controller of the currency. coverage starts tomorrow at 9:00 eastern. coverage of the southern oil publican leadership conference with comments from several
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attendees. >> this year's studentcam competition asked students decreed a five to eight minute video -- to create a 5 to 8 minute video about the strength or weakness -- strength or weakness the u.s. is facing. >> drug abuse, the war in iraq and our economy. the greatest of these challenges is the abuse of the alcohol by minors. with each drink, it gets worse. our american teams being consumed by alcohol? but alcohol is far and away the top drug of abuse by america's teens. children under the age of 21
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drink 25% of the alcohol consumed in the u.s.. more than 5 million i school students admit to binge drink at least once per month. the age at which children began to drink is dropping. since 1975, the proportion of children who begin drinking in eighth grade or earlier has jumped by about one-third. >> alcohol abuse has become a weakness of the u.s. three teams die every day because there for driving under the influence. six more people die because of other alcohol-related causes. every year, about 3000 people that because they abused alcohol. >> we have known that alcohol has been a leading cause of fatal crashes. >> i would say probably one
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third. >> they tried to buy. we check their id. >> about 50% of people that to go in and try to buy alcohol, we have to trust them because they sold out hall. >> experts say that everybody is trying to limit access to upper hall, where else could they be getting it? >> home. a child's home or a child's friends home is the major source of alcohol for young children and a major source for all children. >> the national academy of sciences has reported that most of the alcohol consumed is not bought by the underage people pointed it is bought by adults.
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>> when alcohol is ingested, it affects your stomach, liver, small intestine and the circulatory system. it disrupts normal function. >> it ceases to function and the brain. [inaudible] it affects learning and memory. [inaudible] >> it can lead to other addictions. >> teen drinking is the number one source of adult alcoholism. children who begin drinking before the age of 21 are more than twice as likely to develop alcohol-related problems and those who began drinking before age 15 are four times as likely to become alcoholics.
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underage drinkers are at greater risk of nicotine and illegal drug addiction. >> have you ever had any experience with alcohol? >> on new year's last year, we had a party at my grandmother's house. the people who were drinking or under the age. my cousin thought it was ok for them to drink because they could get the experience with alcohol and not abuse it. >> parents tend to see drinking and occasional binging is a rite of passage. it is a deadly round of russian roulette. >> prevalent is alcohol abuse? >> people are not listening to things that they are told and parents are not caring about what their children are doing.
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>> i think that it will be worse in the future because it does not look bright for us. some people say it can get better but for teenagers using alcohol, for them, it will be hard for them to get a job. >> many have died and many will continue to die if we do not stop this abuse. >> to see all of the winning entries, this it studentcam.org. studentcam ,i >> i will discuss the findings from our study.
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these findings were also published in the journal "pediatrics" in december of 2009. the high operational price -- pays of the current conflict are unparalleled for the military. many credit to larry -- many military children are experiencing more difficulties. despite the contributions of previous studies come up significant knowledge gaps remain, especially for older children. our study focused on the 11 to 17 year age group. families in our study were selected from the 2008 applicant pool to operation purple, a summer camp program sponsored by the national military family association. our sample was proportionate to the composition across army, navy, air force and marines,
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active, guard, and reserve service members. we conducted two interviews, one with a non-deployed caregiver and one with the child. i will highlight of the findings as well as challenges specifically associated with deployment and reintegration. first, the military well being. the goal is to show how children for military families function with respect to ethic -- academics, relationships, general emotion difficulties and overall problem behavior. compared to children and the u.s. sample, the average emotional difficulty is consistently higher at each age. we found that 30% of our sample had elevated levels of anxiety symptoms. this is twice as high -- as the portion of other samples used. children and caregivers were asked to report on difficulties
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that children experience as a result of parental deployment and return. caregivers report that older children had greater number of difficulties than younger children. girls reported more challenges than the boys. we also found that caregivers with poor mental help -- mental- health reported more difficulties during deployment. total months of parental to plummet were significantly linked to a greater number of child difficulties during that deployment as well as upon reintegration. as the total month increased, so did the numbers of difficulties the child reported. our analysis uncovered important association between military background, to plummet experience and key child outcomes. given the difficulties were greater for families six years and longer periods of parental absence, these families may benefit from targeted support to deal with the stresses later on.
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families in which the non deployed caregivers are struggling with their own mental help may need more support for care giver and child. at the same time, we know that dozens of programs are being implemented across the defense and civilian sectors to support military families. based on research, we need to see if these programs are meeting the needs of the family. if not, should they be continue or how can they be improved? >> thank you. of the studies conducted, many do not focus on the stress on children. we conducted a study to explore what factors might influence the magnitude of that stress. we collected the responses of
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over 2000 active-duty soldiers who completed a web based anonymous survey. additionally, we provided a link to forward to their spouses which responded to nearly 700 identical spouse surveys. there were also more links to send up to four other children. we conducted a second phase where we travel throughout the u.s. army installation units and interviewed over 100 adolescents at army post. we are expecting a cumulative approach of deployment. we thought that each deployment would get higher levels of stress. when we looked at the soldier service, their estimates showed a cumulative effect. there was no cumulative effect on the children's levels. there was a trend of decreasing stress with each decreasing --
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with each increasing deployment. what did we find? we found that the number one predictor for employment stress is their participation in an activity such as sports, followed by a strong family and the child's belief of the american support of the war. sports as a diversion makes sense. youth sports programs are relatively easy to create. strong family is expected but that is a long-term social problem. the strength of a child's perception of the american support for the war would be associated with their deployment stress would -- is a surprise and much more complex to deal with. we shifted to another question not looking at the everyday stresses but at the ability to cope with the life of deployment. for this, we look at what predictors help the child survived the life of an army
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brat. we found the predictors were a strong family, a strong stroud -- spiles, but the largest -- a strong spouse, but the largest was to believe that soldiers are making a difference in the world. that is surprising and intuitive. these adolescents grew up in an environment with lofty notions like sacrifice, social service and duty. they are surrounded by saying about -- sayings about putting others before yourself. they understand from firsthand experience that the family is an institution that requires constant attention. they see the deployed soldier caught in the middle. our study examines diplomat stress, how the you deal with the stress of an individual deployment.
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when we look at the ability to cope with the deployment, we found that in addition to those strengths, the believe that american soldiers are making a difference in the world is the number one predictor. we found very common factors but also found attitudinal factors made a difference. a child's opinion of the call of duty makes a difference. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for your comments and the work you have done. i will start with you first because i find that interesting. one of the things i wonder about is if you were able to separate those young people that are living in a more confined military base compared to those living in the public domain and
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attending public school rather than a an on base school. >> that is a good question. we asked that. we asked if they went to a dod school or public school. there are only two dod i schools. that question went away. we did not find a difference between on post and off post. it could be because some places, there is a huge variance and what an off post experience is. there are some very far away and some very close. what we heard from the anecdotal evidence is how much the family participated in the post activities as opposed to where they lived was a bigger factor. >> if they participated heavily, there was a higher level to go exactly.
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-- there was a higher level -- >> exactly. >> while there were differences in your studies, one similar item was the well-being of that non-deployed parent or provider as it relates to their own mental health, is there anything in particular you found that was quite supportive of that non- deployed parent that jumped out that was more unusual, whether or not they actually access services? did you learn anything about what kinds of programs that that parent took advantage of? >> for this study, we did not
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look specifically at the services of non-deployed caregivers access. we are looking back in fallout. we had a strong relationship between the care giver of mental-health and their ability to cope as well as their ability for their children to handle some of the stresses. >> we did ask the spouse how they handle deployments and that was a significant factor. from the interviews, we discovered that a key factor is the family readiness group. you can almost tell from the children how active the parents were and the children saw that as the non-deployed spouses role during deployment. >> were there any particular gaps that you picked up in speaking with them? something that would have been helpful, something that i picked up, the lack of to bring
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assistance. the non-deployed parent has lost that extension and helping out with school and they said if we only had more ability to access tutors or get some help, as one parent would say, i have three kids, i cannot help them all at one time. >> we did not pick up anything like that. what we heard was a lot of spouses just want somebody to listen to and to chat with and talk about things to feel like they are not alone. as far as specific tutoring programs, we did not pick that up. >> for this part of the study, we focused specifically on the types of challenges children are facing during and after deployment. what we found were there were things the highly endorsed as difficult from the care giver perspective and children. these were things like this in
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school activities, finding that people did not understand what life was like for them, so they articulated some of those things you are referencing. >> what do you think should be done to assist military families? >> i think both of our studies point to the needs of older youth. there has been a lot more attention on younger children, younger than 12. there are a lot of development and support programs for them. we hope this starts to identify some of the needs of older youth and teenagers said that we can look at the programs we currently have and figure out if we are aligning our programs with those needs for adolescents. >> what our study showed was a similar focus. the surprising finding was that there are some obvious and easy
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things, like sports activities. the kids need to be busy to be distracted. strong families. that is difficult but is intuitive to all of us. that starts before deployment. how do you into wins because we found that the child believes, what they feel about the army and the nation makes a difference. they will see through propaganda. how you influence a child's believes? that will have this thinking for a long time. >> one of the service that was done -- one of the surveys that was done was it was there believe that 94% believe that the american public had no idea what they go through and what their sacrifices are all about. we know that we have been pretty much it military word, not a
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nation of war. do those sentiments come across from the students? the fact that they feel that there is a great deal of support has helped them tremendously. we found various on that. some people thought yes and some people thought know. we found it does influence the stress children and -- experience. >> thank you. >> an extraordinary difference would before dawn people who live on military bases, their mom and dad are active-duty and i know from my personal experience serving in the army reserves and national guard, we have people back in their home communities. did you see a difference between active duty children and to reserve and guard children? >> our study was restricted to active duty. a follow-up study could be
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conducted. we could hypothesize that could be worse or better. it could go either way. >> our study included representation of active guard and reserve. we did not find any significant differences with child well- being. therefore other factors but the total months of deployment that seem to be more at 8 distinguishing factor. we did note that for children living on base, caregivers were less likely to report difficulties during deployment than those families living off base. >> i do hope as you continue your studies, because it would be interesting to see the difference between active duty
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and with regard members whose mothers and fathers are in uniform monthly and deployment. i know that is reflective of my family. i had one son who's active-duty navy and has served in iraq. he has small children. i have three other sons. they are army national guard. i would not want you to study my family but i know there are differences in different challenges. in our family, our sons, spouses and children are all very proud of the service that has been rendered to our country but particularly with the elections, my oldest son had been in iraq for the 2005 elections. it was great to see his keen interest in the 62%
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precipitation. i have a nephew in baghdad who was keeping me up on the percentage of participation during the course of the evening. our family is engaged. in regard to family readiness, that is so important. i provided free legal counseling in my service. we focused on working with families. guard members, reservists, they receive annual briefings to prepare them. it was a rare that we had family members participating. it is now a significant part to have a group and families want to participate. how would you judge family ready this groups and which ones do you see where most effective? >> that would be a hard
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question. we saw plenty of spouses and children who were very appreciative of the family read this groups. we did not hear people talking about one's that were wanting. i did not hear many people complain. >> we did not look specifically at family readiness groups but i would submit thinking about how those families that cannot live on base or are not geographically located with access to those groups, another way if they can engage -- another way that they can engage. >> there are family readiness groups but a challenge is that many of the members of that particular armory are people who commit. it is not uncommon. 100 miles. 200 miles.
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i hope we will look at that. from my experience, you will have a spouse who is so enthusiastic organizing the immediate community and trying to make a first for those persons who live further away and they are so selfless. we have a state guard in our state. thank you and i look forward to the balance of the testimony. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here. i jumped into to flee to the same thing that ms. davis and mr. wilson did and that is would there be a noticeable difference between living on the base or off.
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apparently, you did not see that. with the active forces, we are past the point where we had individual assignments. we send units over. you have family readiness groups and you have some unit cohesion that would apply whether you lived on or off the base. my son is still with the 101st. he now lives on a fort -- on fort campbell. they are surrounded by all of their kids. that might get a blurred pretty easily. you are suggesting that the post activities might be helpful but
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if you have to commute to them, that might be a detriment to those who lived significantly off post. i am not sure what you said sports was a distraction. i am not sure if i understand the results of your studies that these post activities make a big difference. is that correct? >> our study looked at activities, specifically sports and clubs such as band or drum up. we looked at organizations like boy scouts and girl scouts and religious activities. we found that the significant factor for predicting which children would be better with dealing with stress are those but dissipating and sports. >> does it have to be a post activity? not at all. it serves as a distraction to the negative feelings of deployment. if they are and little lead off post for something like that, it is the same as if it were elsewhere. >> i think it would be helpful
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to at some point to look at this and look at the impact of the individual deployments which still occur in the reserve component. we still have them called up. they are not surrounded by any unit cohesion. that might be interesting to see. i always worry about my grand kids. my son will leave here for his third combat deployment. i find it interesting because i have been worried about that cumulative effect on his kids. you said that there may be a maturing that goes along. i do not know if that applies to older kids or younger kids. >> we restricted our study to a 11-17 year olds. we cannot compare. >> we looked at both the number
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of deployments and the total months of deployment regardless of the number. the factor that had the greatest effect is the number of months of the plummet rather than the discrete number of diplomats. >> i was getting too if you concluded whether it was better to have more short deployments or fewer launder the plummets or if it was a cumulative deployment time -- fewer but longer deployments or if it was a cumulative deployment time. >> we did not look at the sequencing. it is that cumulative months of deployment that had a greater impact negatively on children's well-being. >> thank you very much. >> do either of you have any
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idea what the total number of children at this moment in time have parents deployed overseas? >> recent statistics i have seen is 1.82 2 million children. >> almost 2 million children -- i should have said that differently. separated from their children. >> i do not know the number but that is in the ballpark of what i have read. >> why was your study restricted to only active duty? if we did that by mandate, we made a terrible mistake. what was that? >> it was done because we were sending out a circuit that we wanted 11 year olds to fill out.
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if we wanted to make it applicable to the reserve components, we would have to make a lot bigger because the issues were different. we wanted to see the -- if the post used center made any difference. to keep the survey short enough that an 11 year old would fill it out, we used to the active component. >> there may be any to do a further study. i would suspect that there are a fair number of kids in the reserve component world that we do not have control over. we cannot say that you have to have a summer basketball league. we did not have control over what is to win on in other parts of the world. -- we do not have control over what is going on in other parts
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of the world. >> we did not include questions about this and the study but we are hoping to include it in follow-up work. the exceptional family member program and other services available to special needs families are an important consideration. >> our study did not address special needs specifically. during the interview portion, we have special needs children arriving for interviews. we took their comments into consideration. >> i have talked about this before. i had at one base arrange a meeting with family members of kids with autism and it worked out because of medical privacy.
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we finally had a group of about eight families represented. the most striking thing about it was of that they did not know each other. it was like a godsend that they finally had other parents on the base. this is a relatively small base. this was the first opportunity for them to meet. there was no effort for ability for them to get together. once every so often now, the base commander needs to have a special needs parents day and have everybody in for coffee just to get people coming meeting. the plummet must be a potential
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burden on those families that have difficulties any way with a child -- deployment must be a potential burden on those families that have difficulties already with a child. we had a situation on one base where there is a public school on the base that is the responsibility of the local school district. it is terribly inadequate. everybody is so frustrated because they say they do something and it does not get done. the base commander has gotten involved politically. it makes sense that if you do not value the school, what message does that send to the kids? one person talk to me about --
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one person talk to me about his school work getting all but because of rules -- because of leaks in the roof. we do not take care of their physical needs. that may send the wrong signal about how important we think of their service is. that may be a stretch but i will ponder that some more. by time is up. -- my time is up. >> thank you. in both of your studies, this represents the military that are serving today, the bulk of those families, the father was deployed. do you have any sense or do you think we should be looking also at more families were the mother is the deployed parent? >> 10% of the sample were women. we found that there was no significant difference between the children of women soldiers
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and men soldiers and how they dealt with deep limit stress. when we looked at their ability to cope with the plummet's overall, there was a significant difference that women female soldiers had a harder time coping -- children of female soldiers had a harder time coping. >> you looked at adolescents. >> we stopped at 11. >> absolutely. i think it is critical for us to look at female service members and dual military families and understand the impacts there. we had a small number of fathers and our sample so we were not able to tease apart differences whether the father was deployed or the mother. >> one thing we have to be careful about is even though you
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saw great resiliency and a number of people, i had to smile because i was thinking for adolescents, i think the suggest that life might be easier without that around. in some ways, they have learned to cope and they have a certain amount of independence and have taken on roles in the family that otherwise they might not have. it may be that to during the transition period that occurs when it is tough, that life is a bit simpler for children. i also think that even though we are seeing this, there are a number of young people that have great resiliency and are doing well. we also know that there are done people that are not doing well at all. as you look at those children, did you have any sense of the severity of the mental-health problems that they had and how does that compare to the general
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population? >> we purposely did not use chemical or diagnostic assessments but we did note that about one-third had elevated anxiety symptoms. these are symptoms that would warrant it subsequent assessment for anxiety disorder. that is about twice what we would expect. we found that about one-third of the sample had heightened emotional difficulties. these are things like getting along with friends. that is about 20% sign in the general population. that gives you a sense of the elevated systems. >> also, the number of times a young person frequents the mental-health provider. what we would be after in this
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is some of the changes that have occurred within the military around issues of stigma and whether the family is benefiting from what i hope it's a changing attitude in that regard and whether there is a believe that there is help out there if needed and if we feel that it is available. is there anything that you picked up that could speak to that? >> our study did not addressed clinical -- our study did not address clinical treatment. soldiers said about one-third of their children were doing poorly or very poorly. only 70% said they were doing poorly or very poorly. -- only 17% said they were doing poorly or very poorly. we should not say that
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everything is fine out there. if 20,000 children are saying they did poorly or very poorly, that is not acceptable. >> we did include questions about the health service and we are in the process of analyzing that so hopefully we can have those findings soon. >> thank you. >> just one quick question. i am not sure when you were doing the asking, was this post- deployment or during deployment? with 36% of the soldiers who responded to our survey were deployed at the time. >> we had responses coming from iraq and afghanistan. we are able to compare the non- deployed and the deployed. >> you may be doing poorly or
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very poorly 11 months into the deployment may be different than one month into the deployment. i was trying to understand that. " the ability to cope with the lifetime of deployment, that was done with everybody because we were asking them to reflect on life as an army brat. >> thank you. >> the longer we go on, the questions will get far more detailed then your study could undertake. back in the olden days when we were in the marine corps and i was in vietnam, the rarity, i think that talk to my mother twice in one year. -- i think that i talked to my
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mother twice in one year. i know of one soldier who has three little girls. he is very pleased with the use of skype. i assume that you have not looked at any of those kinds of things or what those impacts might be. >> one of our hypotheses would be that the more communication with a deployed soldier and the more in debt to medication, we figured the lower the stress. we found that the more frequent the to medication, the higher the stress. we have to be careful about causality because it could be that the more they talk, the more they get stressed or it could be the more they are stressed, the more they want to talk.
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>> you are no help at all. [laughter] >> we found that the indicators for an intact -- intact strong family, communication was not a detrimental factor. a week family, the more communication, the more stressful. we start to see a glimpse of the complex nature. it is not necessarily the more communication, the better. more communication could produce more stress in the soldier. today, we are worried about the repairmen coming and what should the spouse do in buying a house.
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>> when you start looking at how we judge this stuff, i did not know how you ultimately decide the impacts of these things. i am not running for reelection because life treat you differently. i have a set of triplets boys who are 1 year old. every time i put on a necktie, my three-year-old would cry because he thought i was going to washington. i did not know how you balance that out. i do not know how to look at this down the line.
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i do not know how you do studies down the line. people go through it the best they can and we try to be as supportive as we can. you did not look at children younger than 11, correct? >> that is correct. >> our study is longitudinal. we follow them over three times points. it will be interesting to see how these defects change over time and to tease apart natural to the elemental changes that happen with adolescents and what are the effects associated with the climate stresses. >> it is my belief that everybody is entitled to one off-the-wall question. last week about some allegations were made that rand cannot be
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trusted and they have a bias in their studies. do you have any reason to think that rand is not a reputable research institute? >> i am honored to be sitting here. >> we certainly appreciate all of your comments. with the work that you have done, particularly as it relates to a longitudinal study, what else would you like to know? what is important as we continue? >> for our study, what is important is we can see that children are saying that they are not doing as bad as their parents said. what happens when they are 25 years old? we do not know that. we looked at 2009, the war is 8 years old. what happens when they are 10 years old. even though we are looking at a
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certain point of time, we do not know the future. >> there are a few things that hopefully we can understand better. the non-deployed spiles's that the health. i do not think a lot of attention has been paid to the parent at home. i think we need to look at girls and older teams. overall, we have programs being rolled out and there have been tremendous efforts but we do not know what programs are effective. given that we have research that is identify what those need a rest are and what suburbs can benefit, we need to think about whether our programs are matching. >> i am glad you brought up girls particularly because in your study, there was a difference in the response of young women. were those responses of non- deployed parents regarding the
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girls or were these actual responses of the girls themselves. >> both. the integration challenges was based on user reports. girls and boys both said it was difficult to get to know the returning parent. the girls expressed more worry about how their parents were getting along and expressed or worry that the parent had a mood change or was somehow different. they had a greater anxiety about those issues. we did think about how we support growth during that process. >> teasing out what is unique about girls and boys when it comes to perceptions around social relationships, as well. i think we would agree that there is a difference. the complexity of those relationships need to be -- seemed to be picked up more often by young women. i would be curious to see whether there are progr t

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